Hippopotamus amphibious

    The name hippopotamus comes from the Greek, meaning "water horse". This sociable beast spends the day submerged in rivers and lakes, strolling along the bottom, cavorting, quarreling, courting, coming up to breathe and in general fulfilling its natural function as bulldozer of the waterways. Hippopotami require the closeness and physical contact of group living. As swimmers, they are not the least bit clumsy, despite the 4,000 pounds of rotundity a large bull may carry. When the gigantic mouth is agape, as it often is, two great ivory canine tusks can be seen curving up at the corners of its lower jaws; in fights between bulls, the tusks are used as slashing weapons and can be perfectly deadly. These are complemented by the shorter spear-like incisors. Each of the three pairs here are uncommonly large and shows great ridging, age-wear and discoloration. The canines each measure 19¾ along their outside curve and are 2 inches wide; the upper tusks are 12½ and 11⅜ inches long; and the shorter pair each 6 inches.

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    Auction Dates
    June, 2008
    8th Sunday
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