How Long Can Hippos Hold Their Breath Underwater?

Hippos are known as “river horses” because they spend up to 16 hours a day submerged in rivers and lakes to keep their gigantic bodies cool in the scorching African heat. However, they are typically large enough to simply stroll or stand on the lake floor, or lie in the shallows. Since their eyes and nostrils are high on their heads, they get to see and breathe although mostly submerged. Hippos can’t stay out of the water for long because their skin is so sensitive to bright sunlight. As a result, they release a red, oily substance that acts as both a sunscreen and an antibiotic.

Are hippos able to breathe underwater?

The hippo can hold its breath underwater, and it does so in an impressive manner. When the hippo is underwater, it covers its nose and ears to prevent water from entering. It also employs a reddish oily fluid that protects the hippo’s skin from water clotting when underwater and functions as a sort of sunscreen. This is also known as blood sweat, because it is produced by the hippo’s unique skin glands. While it may appear weird, a hippo holding its breath underwater is not uncommon.

The hippopotamus shares a close relationship with dolphins and whales, two other mammals that breathe underwater. The hippopotamus has very little hair on its body, which is quite unusual. Furthermore, the hippo is designed to live in the water. Hippos can they swim? They are not swimmers and dwell underwater, thus the solution to this question is perplexing.

Adult hippos are not even buoyant in water, although they have webbed feet, a trait common in aquatic creatures that helps them move underwater easier. The hippo is classed as semi-aquatic and typically found in Africa

How long can a hippo stay underwater without taking a breath?


A baby hippo may stay underwater for 40-60 seconds before coming up for air, but an adult hippo can hold its breath for up to 5 minutes. It’s hardly surprising that these water animals can spend so much time underwater because they enjoy spending their days underwater in rivers and lakes. They don’t always have to be completely immersed to enjoy it. The hippo’s eyes, ears, and nostrils are located at the top of its head, allowing it to see, hear, and breathe while the rest of its body is submerged in water. 

Hippos are mammals, which means they have lungs for respiration, which cannot handle water. Hippos can’t breathe underwater without gills, and breathing in even a small amount of water can lead them to drown. To avoid this, they have self-sealing nostrils and large-capacity lungs, which let them to safely enjoy their semi-aquatic existence. They even have strong waterproof skin that prevents them from becoming wrinkled.

How do hippos go for so long without breathing underwater?

By the time they are four months old, their moms have already taught them how to stay underwater. When they need to breathe, they just surface for a few seconds before diving back below. Adults, on the other hand, have been observed to stay underwater for up to 5 minutes, though most of the time they spend below is between 5 and 8 minutes.

When a Hippopotamus sleeps, how long can it stay underwater?

Hippos are so good at living in the water that they can sleep completely submerged. They must balance their sleeping periods with living in a river because the water is their safe haven. They accomplish this using a modest amount of natural magic.

Hippos can sleep underwater without needing to wake up or open their eyes to take in oxygen. They have a mechanism that enables them to sleep submerged, bob up for air when necessary, and then return to slumber without waking up.

Young hippos may find this more difficult and are frequently spotted lying on their mothers’ backs to help them breathe. Calves, on the other hand, are accustomed to being underwater from a young age, as they are not only born but also nursed underwater.

Hippos are mostly nocturnal animals, as they spend the majority of their time on land hunting for food. This indicates that they sleep the majority of the time during the day.

Hippos spend approximately 16 hours every day relaxing in African rivers and lakes. This is when they usually have rest and sleep periods.

How do hippos stay afloat when holding their breath?

Hippos evolved a number of adaptations that enable them to live and breathe underwater. When hippos dive underwater, they do not seal their nostrils, allowing water to enter their nose when they take a breath. Instead of stiff or soft tissue, their lungs are constructed of elastic muscles. Consider the suppleness of the skin on your head or arm; hippos’ lungs have a similar system that allows them to stretch when breathing underwater.

Hippopotamuses also have sluggish heartbeats and only breathe six times per minute underwater, which allows them to hold their breath for such a long time. Hippos have evolved these adaptations to allow them to exist in a relatively restricted environment – the river. Other species with similar adaptations include dolphins, seals, and manatees. They all have enormous lungs, sluggish heartbeats, and can hold their breath for long periods of time underwater.

The hippopotamus is an amazing aquatic mammal that dives underwater and shuts off its lungs to avoid drowning. The reflex mechanism that triggers this response ensures that they receive a continual supply of oxygenated blood, preventing them from losing consciousness before emerging. The Hippo is one of the few creatures that can turn off their breathing apparatus, ensuring that oxygen-rich blood is constantly moving throughout their body. When diving into deep waters, they do it by reflexively shutting down their breathing without ever losing consciousness or control over any other physiological functions, as other mammals would. Hippos, unlike most mammals, can hold their breath for a lengthy period before expelling; they inhale and exhale oxygen in bursts, using breathing intervals that are far shorter than most other mammals of their size.

Hippos can stay underwater for lengthy periods of time without having to resurface because to these remarkable adaptations!