back to article Prof pooh-poohed in pig-v-whale hippo genealogy brouhaha

Rival Canadian and American boffins went head to head this week, battling to resolve one of the most hotly-disputed scientific questions of recent times. That is of course: are hippos a type of amphibious whale, or are they in fact a freshwater pig? Heading up the porker-potamus school is Professor J G M Thewissen of the …


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  1. Nick
    Thumb Up

    Title competition

    May as well close entries now, I think this one's won it. Nice work (although I did spit some pasty out)!

  2. Julian I-Do-Stuff


    Weird - I'd just read that story on a "Science" site on the adjacent tab; I like your version better - same info, much more entertaining. Pity you didn't cover the European Quantum Chromodynamics conference this week.

    The one with Strange on the back.

  3. Anonymous Coward

    Brilliant headline

    Just have to say that that is one of the best headlines I've seen for a long while!

  4. Mike


    It is quite obvious that the Hippo is nither a pig nor a whale, it's a Hippo and has always been a Hippo forever since God created it.

    I don't understand why these "scientists" keep making this evidence up, everyone with any common sense knows evolution is (as the title says), the so called "fossils" are probably unrelated creatures from the great flood (about 2345 years BC).

    People actually believe this.

  5. Humph

    "Prof pooh-poohed in pig-v-whale hippo genealogy brouhaha"

    Best. Title. Evar!

    Thank you for some much needed Friday lunchtime amusement, Mr Page!

  6. Pete Silver badge

    wrong way round

    maybe a whale is really a type of hippo.

    Anyhow, the whole is it a pig, is it a whale, is it superman? question can be simply resolved over the barbeque. Does it taste of pork?

  7. Frank

    Save the Hippo.....etc

    "..a colony of hippos imported to Latin America years ago as pets by recreational-chemicals kingpin Pablo Escobar are multiplying in fine style."

    Save Endangered Species -- Do Drugs!

  8. Goatan
    Thumb Up



  9. Anonymous Coward

    There's only one place to settle this!

    The hippodrome.

  10. Ian McNee

    Don't these people watch telly??

    It's on the Beeb so it must be true:

    It's a hittopotowhale or perhaps a whaleopotomi, as any fule kno

  11. Ian Stephenson

    but but but...

    Hippos can't be pigs, otherwise you'd get Hippobacon.

    Mines the one with with the dolphin burger in the pocket.

  12. Marvin the Martian
    IT Angle

    So add whales to the pig family

    and dispute is closed!

    It's not like whale ancestry is that clear anyway "probably descended from doglike creature" or similar judgements you get AFAIK.

  13. Paul Harrap


    Lewis is a military man, so he should no about the dangers of pooh-pooh more than us civvies. I quote one of the more reknowned military thinkers of the Great War:

    "If there's one thing I've learnt from being in the Army, it's never ignore a pooh-pooh. I knew a Major, who got pooh-poohed, made the mistake of ignoring the pooh-pooh. He pooh-poohed it! Fatal error! 'Cos it turned out all along that the soldier who pooh-poohed him had been pooh-poohing a lot of other officers who pooh-poohed their pooh-poohs. In the end, we had to disband the regiment. Morale totally destroyed... by pooh-pooh! "

    - General Sir Anthony Cecil Hogmanay Melchett

  14. Danny

    I wonder how many boffins....

    Samson could have killed with the jawbone of a hippo?

  15. Andy ORourke

    @ Pete

    "Does it taste of pork?"

    No, it tastes of Chicken obviously!

  16. Pyromancer

    Only one way to settle this!

    Not only does this need to be settled in the hippodrome, but in fact with the protagaonists and their followers battling it out in mud, mud, glorious mud, there's nothing quite like it for cooling the blood (though whether of Mobypottomi or Porcinepottomical origin will have to wait for the referee's judgement).

  17. Martin Lyne


    Everything evolved from the primordial gloop, some gained legs, posteriors, mandibles, brains and then sentience. Then the internet, then YouTube, then the sentient creatures cast their gaze upon the comments laid forth on the Tube of You.. and decided we are all better off evolving back i puddles of slime that have no fingers.

  18. bill

    Captain... thar be pigs!!!!

    Here, Here!!! they be swamp things forsure

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No shit, Sherlock.

    "Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet."

    Academic jousting and posturing is to no avail. Dog has spoken and it is so written in his book. Atheists and sceptics can resolve the matter more scientifically by quantitative measurement of the methane output of whales, hippos and pigs. Answers on a postcard to Lord Mandelslime of Greenhouse Gasses.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It has to be said...

    ...but even by El Reg's own somewhat elastic standards, the IT aspect of this one is pretty tenuous. Unless you're suggesting the IT people as a whole have some connection with the river horse? Are we aquatic stallions? Or just a bit lardy round the middle....

  21. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: It has to be said...

    The IT angle is that HIPPOS USE LINUX.

    I find 'it has to be said' is a bit like 'trust me', y'know?

  22. Mike
    Gates Halo

    The IT angel

    It has to be said......

    Tried to install linux on a hippo once, difficult? it was a pig of a job.........

    (sorry, it is Monday)

  23. jake Silver badge

    Not Linux, BSD

    "The IT angle is that HIPPOS USE LINUX."

    Actually, Linux hasn't been ported to HippoPCs yet. BSD runs well on them, though, as it does on other big, nearly bullet-proof systems.

    How did I miss this article earlier in the week?

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