[Gk. hippos, a horse ; and pota-mos, a river.] A large animal about 12 feet in length and 5 feet high at the shoulders, with short legs and four toes on each foot, a skin on the back and sides more than two inches thick - of dark-brown color and destitute of hair. It is found only in Africa, and lives mostly in lakes and rivers, and can remain a long time under water. At night it comes up on the banks of rivers, and feeds on plants and herbage. It lives in herds of from twenty to forty individuals. The hippopotamus is much hunted by the Africans for its flesh, of which many of them are very fond. The hide is converted into shields, helmets, whips, and canes, and the large canine teeth are much valued for their ivory, and form a very considerable article of African commerce.