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Mon Mar 30, 2020, 10:04 PM

Pablo Escobar's 'cocaine hippos' may be helping river ecosystems in Colombia

Hippos that were brought to Colombia decades ago by Pablo Escobar, the notorious cocaine kingpin, are now thriving in the country's river ecosystems. Scientists even suspect that river habitats may benefit from the presence of these non-native hippos, with the large herbivores filling an ecological niche that has been vacant in the region for thousands of years.

Many species of big plant-eaters that once roamed the planet were driven to extinction beginning about 100,000 years ago, with extinctions peaking toward the end of the Pleistocene Epoch (2.6 million to 11,700 years ago). As big herbivorous animals vanished, their absence starved the soil of nutrients, altered plant growth and even affected water flow and availability, researchers wrote in a new study.

However, newly introduced nonnative herbivores such as Escobar's "cocaine hippos" could revitalize and enrich such ecosystems, and could do so in locations around the world, the scientists reported.


Before Escobar's hippos invaded Colombia's waterways, the last big herbivore to roam that part of South America was the giant llama Hemiauchenia paradoxa, or large-headed llama, which vanished around 11,000 years ago. The closest extinct equivalent to a modern hippo is the large-headed llama, the scientists wrote in the study. However, the researchers found that hippos were also very similar to an extinct semiaquatic hoofed beast called Trigonodops lopesi, "in all traits but fermentation type," according to the study.


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Reply Pablo Escobar's 'cocaine hippos' may be helping river ecosystems in Colombia (Original post)
Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin Mar 2020 OP
pansypoo53219 Mar 2020 #1

Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Mon Mar 30, 2020, 11:16 PM

1. well, finally an invasive for good.

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