Print Hippopotamuses Reading Comprehension with Fifth Grade Work
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Print Hippopotamuses Reading Comprehension
||edHelper's suggested reading level:
||grades 5 to 6
||Flesch-Kincaid grade level:
||tunnel-like, effective, pygmy, bulky, literally, fluid, hippopotamus, regroup, leading, among, thus, despite, distinct, separate, rhinoceros, however
1 Hippopotamuses (or "hippos" for short) are among the heaviest land animals on Earth. They have four short legs to support their bulky, heavy bodies that can easily weigh more than 7,000 pounds! We all know that elephants are the world's heaviest land animals. Are hippos the second heaviest? Well, the answer to that question is still an open debate. Some scientists think hippos are the world's second heaviest land animals. Others give the title to the white rhinoceros. Interestingly, the word "hippopotamuses" literally means "river horses" in Greek. However, hippos are more closely related to pigs than to horses.
2 Found only in Africa, hippos spend at least 18 hours a day soaking in lakes and rivers near grasslands. They must stay in the water for this long because their nearly hairless skin dries out very quickly in the tropical heat. Aside from immersing in the water, hippos have a special way to fight off sunburn. They have glands that produce a red, oily fluid that is as effective as a sun block. Because of this fluid, we used to think that hippos sweat blood. Actually, hippos don't have sweat glands so they do not sweat at all!
3 Hippos have several distinct features that make them well suited for spending so much time in the water! Their eyes, ears, and nostrils all face upward. Thus, hippos can stay on a high alert while the rest of their bodies remain underwater. Once submerged, hippos close their nostrils and fold down their ears to keep out the water, so they can walk along the river bottom or swim at ease. Adult hippos may stay submerged for up to five minutes.
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