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Jen Guyton

One order of hippo dung, please

New research has found that some fish and aquatic insects depend on the dung of the common hippopotamus for food. The study, published in the journal Ecosphere, details how researchers used stable carbon isotopes as tracers to track the flow of nutrients from the excrement to the tissues of various fish and insects. It’s thought that millions of tons of hippo dung enter Africa’s rivers and lakes every year, providing an important and poorly understood link between terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, scientists say. The study’s hippos live in Kenya’s Ewaso Ng’iro River and can be viewed live via webcam. 

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