Hippopotas is a quadrupedal, hippopotamus-like Pokémon that is most commonly found in deserts and other arid places. Its skin color depends on gender: if male, it is tan with dark brown patches, and if female, its coloring is reversed. It has a large snout with round, protruding nostrils. Its eyes and small ears protrude from the top of its head. Its torso has mottled coloring and a small hole on its back. Each of its feet has two blunt claws, and it has a small tail.
Hippopotas spends its time bathing in sand and avoids water at all costs. It covers itself in sand as a protective measure against germs and expels sand instead of sweat. When it walks through the sand, it shuts its nostrils. It also keeps its mouth open while traveling in sand, swallowing any sand and prey along the way. Hippopotas are more active during the day and burrows into sand during the cold desert nights. It prefers to travel in groups of ten.
In the anime
The recurring male Hippopotas
Hippopotas debuted in Mass Hip-Po-Sis!, where Ash, with the aid of his friends, rescued the Pokémon from being trapped upon a high ledge. Rhonda and her Sinnoh Now crew revealed that they were on assignment filming a herd of Hippo Pokémon. It was then discovered that Hippopotas was lost, having been separated from his herd. As a result, Ash and his friends helped Hippopotas find his way back. Like a few other Pokémon, Hippopotas seemed to like riding atop of Ash's head.
Team Rocket attempted to steal Hippopotas multiple times for Giovanni, but their plans were foiled each time. All the while, Jessie had trouble saying the Pokémon's species name. Hippopotas fell into a stream after one of Team Rocket's attempts to capture him. With the assistance of Nurse Joy, Ash and his friends fetched a sackful of dry sand to help Hippopotas recover. Later, the group were able to reunite Hippopotas with his herd.
Pokémon Super Mystery Dungeon: a male Hippopotas is a resident of Serene Village, and speaks with a French accent. After the player brings their partner back at the Epilogue, Hippopotas can be recruited.
This Pokémon was unavailable prior to Generation IV.
Despite having obvious gender differences, both Hippopotas and its evolved form have only one menu sprite and one Dream World picture, both of which depict the male variation.
Hippopotas seems to be based on a hippopotamus, with army-like desert camouflage. Because of the spout upon its back that spits sand, Hippopotas and its evolved form may be based upon the legendary Bahamut as, in some accounts of the myths behind it, it is said to support a bed of sand and have the head of a hippo.