Why Would Evolution Produce a Hippo, That Feeds on Such a Meager Food Source, and Needs to Leave?

Question by cosmic: Why would evolution produce a hippo, that feeds on such a meager food source, and needs to leave?
its more comfortable water environment just to eat? Wouldn’t it be more efficient
for such a creature that requires a tremendous food energy input, to eat a big fish
swimming by?
The time and energy required to eat vegetation seems to be very inefficient and
exposes younger hippos to additional predators.

Best answer:

Answer by Lisa B
You need to understand that, although hippos do go on shore to eat, they eat predominantly aquatic vegetation, which is plentiful in the areas where they live, and they have little competition for it. Hippos move like ballerinas in the water, where their heavy bodies are supported. So, the only serious predators for baby hippos are usually crocodiles, and for the hippos to eat fish would not help that. Besides, hippos are very aggressive both in and out of the water. Predation is not a big issue for them.

Answer by Ben Robinson
actually hippos have particularly efficient digestive systems and only have to eat 1 – 1.5% of their body weight daily, so eating vegetation doesnt really impede them.

the grass they eat is abundant and readily available, and although it is not particularly nutritious in its original state the hippopotamus has symbiotic microorganisms in their digestive system that break the grass down into material that is both useful to and easily digested by the hippo.
needless to say that hippopotamus’ digestive systems are very specialized and their digestive anatomy is not suited to eating meat of any sort.

also can you imagine the difficulties an animal the size of a hippo would have trying to catch agile fish swimming past?

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