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A surprise find in the mountains of western Colombia reveals a population of three hippos that scientists describe as the world’s largest multiple sex animals.
That population was discovered this year by the Natural Resources Institute of Colombia and Japan at the Rancagua Volcano. Scientists decided to study these species in preparation for an expedition on the Petroglyph National Park-Ucayali National Park in Colombia, which will follow up the discovery in August. They say they are also going to monitor animal movements around the equator to help understand how animals at the mountain top evolved to develop new sex organs.
Fox’s Kevin Corke spoke with Eugenio Ortiz, director of the Natural Resources Institute of Colombia and Japan:
(Ortiz) Very important, obviously you need the science to understand this population for future generation. That is part of this expedition. I mean, if the species are reproducing then we have some new research and information to share with other people around the world and that’s very important.
(Corke) How much did you estimate is the population here is of these mysterious animals?
(Ortiz) It’s very difficult to know. It’s very difficult to test how big the population of this could be, especially for males, you know, they have so many mouths to feed that you have to test the numbers in individuals. We’ve seen that they are breeding. We also know the endevours of the females. That’s how we can give a reasonable prediction for this population size.