If you see a yawning hippo you might think it is sleepy and even cute, but in reality the yawning of a hippo is a warning sign, it shows the jaws and its long, sharp teeth to demonstrate its strength and aggressiveness.
Even the sounds made by a hippo, similar to a deep and demonic laugh, are a warning and do not represent a funny situation.
Despite its funny appearance, the hippo is among the most dangerous and aggressive animals of the African savannah, the long sharp teeth can grow to a length of over 50 centimeters.
The hippo holds a record, the widest mouth opening of all land animals belongs to the hippo, Hippopotamus amphibius, that can open its jaws up to 180 °.
The huge mouth of the hippo is also an element that females use to choose their partner: the larger the mouth and the higher the male's ability to defend the territory and the young, therefore it is more interesting to the eyes of females.
The hippo uses its own mouth and large and strong teeth whenever it feels threatened, it opens its jaws wide and assumes an aggressive attitudeand attacks all those who enter its territory or get too close to its young, including crocodiles.
Even crocodiles are afraid of hippos because a male hippo can break the back of a crocodile with a single bite, these beasts can in fact impart a brutal force of about 800 kg to their bite.
The hippo usually has 36 teeth, but in some cases there are 40.
The hippo milk teeth do not fall out for several years after reaching adulthood; while the canine teeth of the hippo continue to grow throughout the life of the animal and can reach a maximum length of over 50 cm and are formidable and lethal weapons.
Canines have a function similar to the tusks of elephants: hippos, in particular male specimens, in fact use these teeth to fight; the canines of the male specimens are twice as long as the females, an example of sexual dimorphism.
The teeth of the hippos are ivory, but the ivory of the hippo tusks is softer than the ivory of the elephant tusks but, despite this aspect, unfortunately the hippos also ended up in the sights of poaching.
Another characteristic of the hippo's teeth is that the teeth sharpen on their own during chewing, and that when the molars are completely consumed, the animal will no longer be able to chew and starve to death.