What Sound Does A Hippo Make? Grunt, Groan, Growl, Roar

December 15, 2022 by No Comments

Hippos grunt, groan, growl, roar, and make loud wheezing sounds. They also make chuffing noises.

But the descriptive power of language is limited. Therefore, it would be best if you could hear these noises for yourself. In response to your inquiry, I’ve included some hippo sounds that were captured deep within the African bush.

What Does a Hippo Sound Like?

Numerous vocalizations are produced by hippos. These noises include honks, grunts, roars, squeals, and what sounds like wheezing. Honking hippopotamuses resemble deep-voiced laughter. To demonstrate his dominance, a male may honk.

In particular, when they want something, hippos can roar. Check out the video below to hear a hungry, or in this case “hangry,” hippo roaring.

What Are the Underwater Sounds of Hippo?

Hippos are semi-aquatic animals that spend their days entering and exiting the water. When they become too hot, they stand in the riverbed to become cooler. They return to the shore to soak up the sun when they become too cold.

Hippos will keep their eyes, ears, and nostrils above water while swimming in the river. Their mouths will be completely submerged.

Even though they cannot breathe underwater, they can still communicate while submerged. According to some estimates, up to 80% of hippo communication takes place underwater.

But what is really cool is that hippos can communicate through the water and the air at the same time.

Hippos can detect sounds in the air using their ears.

What is the Purpose of Underwater Communication?

Actually, when a hippo is submerged, it makes three distinct sounds.

  • One of those is the click.
  • The other is a tonal whine that seems to be associated with submissive behavior.
  • The other is a pulsed croak that young hippos make when they are interacting with each other.

Why do hippopotamuses need underwater communication when they can be so vocal? We really don’t know, is the answer?

How Does Hippo Communicate?

Body Language and Non-Vocal Communication

Hippos are not only experts at communicating amphibiously; they also understand how to convey ideas through body language. The most famous illustration of this is their enormous yawn.

A hippopotamus has a 150-degree mouth opening. While this enormous beast may appear to be dozing off, what it is actually frequently doing is showing off its powerful teeth. The length of a hippo’s teeth can reach 20 inches (50 centimeters).

Additionally, a crocodile’s back can be snapped in half by its powerful jaw. So avoid the animal if you see it yawning!

Lunging, charging, and jaw-clashing are additional non-verbal cues. Along with shaking its head and spouting water, an irate hippopotamus may also.

A male hippo, on the other hand, might act submissive around the dominant male.

One instance of this is when he walks with his head lowered. A hippo can also “lay prone” with his body low and his face down. This can calm down a raging male or a hot-tempered female.

What Does a Baby Hippo Sound Like?

Hippos in infancy make low grunting noises. Watch the brief but sweet video below to hear a baby hippo talking.

How Loud Are Hippopotami?

A herd of honking and grunting hippos can be as loud as 115 decibels and heard up to a mile (1.6 kilometers away).

The volume of the sound is comparable to a boisterous rock concert or a nearby thunderstorm.

What are the Sounds of Hippo Mating Displays?

Another situation where physical communication is important is mating. The male may make vocalizations like wheezing or honking. But compared to the mating call, the female is more susceptible to being seduced by the mating display.

What a peculiar mating display it is, too. Males tend to approach females closely. Then, while waving his tail to spread the waste all over, he will urinate and defecate at the same time. The female may also wave her waste around if she finds you interesting.


An enormous and hostile animal, the hippopotamus. Although they typically do not pose a significant threat to people, when provoked, they are able to do significant harm. Their size and strength are largely to blame for this. They also possess big, flat teeth that can easily pierce human skin.