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Ecosystem Engineers

Hippos are ecosystem engineers – that means that they create and change the land in and around wetlands. They do this by moving a lot of soil around with their sheer size – they create channels in the water and paths on land that redirect water. This also creates habitat and shelter for smaller creatures. Hippos also play an important role in the wetland by fertilizing the water. By eating on land and pooping in the water, they bring nutrients to rivers and lakes that wouldn’t otherwise be there, helping enrich wetland plant and animal life.