Why Crocodiles Don’t Attack Hippopotamus.
The reason Crocs live together somewhat peacefully with Hippos is because of a mutual understanding between the two. Hippos rarely eat meat, and Crocs usually understand it’s foolhardy to try to attempt an adult hippo. So, they don’t even try. No interest in the Hippos side and nearly assured destruction on the Crocs side.
Crocs sometimes do get in trouble from time to time trying to get a calf. Usually it’s a seriously bad move on the Crocs part. Notice the difference in the tusk and tooth lenght in the pictures below.
It is a clear difference of quantity and quality, I would rather go with the Hippos quality.
Crocs teeth, are designed to grab and hold-tear, but not severe. I’ve watched adult Crocs, large adult Crocs, being destroyed by a single addult hippo on National Geographic Wide (NatGeo wild).
You can’t get around the 1.5ft tusks-and the hippo’s agility. The croc doesn’t have anything to counter Sunch a weapon.
Also, a Hippo’s skin is 5 inches thick in some places and tough as rubber, really, really thick rubber. Essentially, it’s armor. The Crocs have some flexible scales along it’s sides and underbelly, but these aren’t even close to armor before the Hippo. A
Crocs teeth aren’t near 5 inches in length and the 5000lbs bite force is distributed among all the teeth in contact, reducing the force to around 125lbs per tooth, if 40 teeth are making contact.
The Hippo has 4 self sharpening, fighting canines with the two on the bottom jaw an awesome length. The force at each of these sharpened spears is upwards of 450lbs.
Hippos have been suggested to have evolved, because the largest two canines for the Hippo are on the bottom jaw. This is the very jaw that will come under an attacking croc, easily piercing through the soft underbelly scales while avoiding the Crocs dorsal armor.
With the armory of the Hippo, the croc, who is the supposedly threat, because of its mode of feeding, knows not to attack a full grown. Hippo or a cub when the adults are around. Though the Hippo is often considered an omnivore, because it feeds on meat from time to time, does not pose a threat to the croc.
Hence, the relationship that has forced a peaceful co-existence between them is based on respect on the Croc’s side and understanding on the Hippo’s.
Thus, their ability to leave together peacefully.