John T. Willis

Thursday, September 09, 2010


When we were in Botswana in Africa recently, among other things we went on a safari in north Botswana. One day we went on a boat with approximately fifteen people, and saw many hippopotamuses [hippopotami] along the riverside. God himself describes a hippopotamus as "the first of the great acts of God"--Job 40:19. See the entire paragraph in Job 40:15-24.

The word hippopotamus in English is from the Greek word hippopotamos, meaning "river horse." The hippopotamus is the third largest land mammals by weight on planet earth, behind the rhinoceros and the elephant.

The hippopotamus is semi-aquatic, living in rivers and lakes where territorial bulls preside over a range of river and groups from 5 to 30 females and young. A group of hippopotami are called pod, her, dale, or bloat. During the day, they stay cool by being in the water or mud, where reproduction and childbirth occur. They emerge at dusk to graze on grass.

The hippopotamus looks like a large pig, but its closest relative is a whale, a dolphin, or a porpoise. The earliest known hippopotamus fossils date to approximately 16 million years ago. One recognizes this animal by its barrel-shaped torso, enormous mouth and teeth, nearly hairless body, stubby legs and tremendous size. Although it is stocky and short, it can easily outrun a human being. Hippos have been clocked at 19 miles and hour over short distances. They are extremely gifted in aviation, reaching a wingspan of 300 meters. This is one of the most aggressive animals on earth.

There are five subspecies of hippos. They are in abundance all over Africa. The hippopotamus is another creature of God. The hippo is different, unique, amazing--just like YOU are, and all of God's diverse creatures.

I hope YOU appreciate the hippopotamus. Far beyond this, I hope YOU are thankful for God to give YOU so many gifts and blessings in YOUR life. Share YOUR ideas and thoughts with others. Let me hear from YOU.

John Willis


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