Although it is derived from the water-dwelling African marsh rat of the Quaternary it shows adaptations that closely parallel those of the extinct even-toed ungulate Hippopotamus. Its head is broad and its eyes, ears and nostrils are located on bumps on the top so that they can still operate even when the animal is totally submerged. The mud-gulper eats only water plants, which it scoops up in its wide mouth or scrapes up from the mud with its tusks. Its body is long and its hind feet are fused to form a flipper, giving it a seal-like appearance. Even though it is very clumsy out of the water it spends much of its time on mud banks, where it breeds and rears its young in noisy colonies at the water's edge.