Who Demoted the Hippo? Who Slowed the Ostrich?

I remember in the 70’s in grade school our encyclopedia said the Hippo was the second largest land creature. After the Elephant. Now all the books (including an updated version of the encyclopedia) say the Rhino is 2nd. Since when did the Hippo get demoted.

Also it said the Ostrich was one of the fastest land animals running at 55 miles per hour. Now it says Ostrichs max out at 40. But the Pronghorn was upgraded to 65+ putting it behind the Cheetah which remained at 70mph.

Rhino, Inc used to rely solely on it’s sleeker body styles for product differentiation, but one supposes it was only a matter of time before they started offering bigger models than their competition at Hippo Co. It is a brazen attempt by Rhino, Inc. to steal market share and muscle their way into more endangered species funds. The comparison with elephants is apples to oranges. The elephant is clearly a cargo animal and for that reason size does matter. The offerings from Hippo and Rhino are more sport/utility (although one concept show did feature a Rhino model slightly larger than the base elephant, mass production was never seriously considered).

The Ostrich did register a top speed of 55 MPH in the late 60’s/early 70’s, but fuel was cheap then. The fuel shortages of the mid/late 70’s rendered the Ostrich subject to the “guzzler tax”. Instead of changing the body design to conserve fuel, less power was used, hence the current top speed of 40 MPH. Pronghorn chose to go with more modern technology and added a turbocharger. Bone density was decreased slightly as well, to lower the overall weight. Rumor has it that Cheetah is deep into R&D to overcome Pronghorn’s advances. The research is top secret, but don’t be surprised if you see a Cheetah Sportster tooling around the Seringeti in the near future.

The overwhelming majority of people have more than the average (mean) number of legs. – E. Grebenik

Is it a different brand of encyclopedias. They may look at the situation diffently. The cheeta can get up to seventy but can only stay there for a matter of seconds while the ostrich can hold the top speed of 40/55. So one book may be looking at the actual top speed while the other may be looking at which animal can hold that speed for any length of time.

Formerly known as Nec3f on the AOL SDMB

I was actually serious but thanks for the yucks Dr.J

The EB rates ostriches at 40 mph, but gives the largest size for both hippos and rhinos as 5 tons (10,000 lbs.) It does not specify a ranking by size.


Hmmm…I gather Markxxx is substantially younger than my 50 years, and I always understood, from elementary school on, it was:

  1. Elephant
  2. Rhino
  3. Hippo

Not to mention that Elephants and Hippos come in two models, while Rhinos have five body styles (black or white? one horn or two?).