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Monday 30 June 2014

UN-Cracked Monday: The Hippos of the Amazon

Today, an article that won't be so much controversial (as my usual Monday fare) but absolutely fascinating.  There are now possibly 90 hippos or so left in the Amazon.

Except, of course, if you know your zoology, this isn't some greenpeace plea to save the Amazonian Hippo from extinction; because there should be ZERO hippos in the Amazon.  Hippos are not native to South America. 

Soon, however, there might be; they were literally "left" in the Amazon following the fall of Columbian Drug Lord Pablo Escobar, and have apparently begun to thrive in the river, which has all of the benefits and none of the disadvantages of their native environment.  There's a very good chance, if they're not put under control, that if over the last 20 years they've multiplied at such an astounding rate, they could end up some day spreading out all over the region.

It's a crazy story. Check it out.


Currently Smoking: Winslow Crown Cutty + Gawith's Crowley's Best


  1. Another plus for the "the tigers escaped from the zoo." reasoning for post apocalypse random tables/ encounters :D

  2. Yes, a very good point. It's fascinating, isn't it? But then, we tend to forget that there was a time when horses weren't part of the natural environment of the Americas either. If horses can do it, why not hippos?

  3. Because horses evolved in the Americas?

  4. I'm not sure that's correct; yes, there were pre-historic horses here, I don't have the expertise to know if they "evolved" here or migrated here; but by 1492 they hadn't actually BEEN here for something like ten thousand years.

    And it seems that the hippos are in the perfect environment for themselves in the Amazon. I don't know if the hippos themselves will do anything good for the environment of the Amazon, mind you! More likely not...

  5. 50% of all species somewhere is not a local developmet. So immigration is nothing to worry about. And history or nativity have no meaning. You either are fit enough to live somehwere now (and therefor belong where you are) or you do not (even if you did so for millions of years). Hippo's survive in the Amazone? They belong there. It is as simple as that.
    And science has shown that inspite of the heory saying something different: competition rarely if ever leads to an extinction. As hippo's do not predate (which also lead to very few extinctions on continents) the most likely outcome even to the liking of conservative ecologist, will be that one species is added to the Amazone. Nice!

    1. I'm not sure if most modern ecologists would agree with you. But then, I'm not an ecologist.