Pygmy Hippopotamus Interesting Facts
What type of animal is a pygmy hippopotamus?
Pygmy hippopotamus is a small hippopotamid type of animal.
What class of animal does a pygmy hippopotamus belong to?
Pygmy hippopotamuses belong to the mammal class.
How many pygmy hippos are there in the world?
There are less than 3,000 pygmy hippos in the world.
Where does a pygmy hippopotamus live?
This species of hippopotamus lives in forests and swamps.
What is a pygmy hippos habitat?
Pygmy hippos are declining due to habitat loss. Pygmy hippos are mostly found in West Africa and Liberia, with a tiny population of pygmy hippos living in Sierra Leone, Guinea, and the Ivory Coast. This hippopotamus species lives in forests, swamps or wallows. Pygmy hippopotamuses have strong muscular valves that help them close their ears and nostrils when they submerge into the water.
Who do pygmy hippos live with?
Pygmy hippos live either in small groups or alone. The small group of these hippos' is known as a herd.
How long does a pygmy hippopotamus live?
Pygmy hippopotamuses (Choeropsis liberiensis) live up to 30 and 55 years.
How do they reproduce?
The details of the mating season are relatively unknown when it comes to these hippos, but when cows are ready to breed, there would usually be a bull waiting nearby. They mate either on forest land or in water. Females give birth on land or shallow water after a period of six to seven months, and one calf is born.
What is their conservation status?
Pygmy hippos have the conservation status of Endangered. The biggest danger to the remaining population of pygmy hippopotamuses is the loss of habitat. In 2007, pygmy hippos were named one of the top-10 'Focal Species' by the Evolutionarily Distinct And Globally Endangered (EDGE) project. It has been reported by the IUCN that the population of this species of hippos is somewhere between 2,000 and 2,500 in the wild. However, this number is decreasing day by day.
Pygmy Hippopotamus Fun Facts
What do pygmy hippos look like?
Pygmy hippopotamuses (Choeropsis liberiensis) look like a small version of their larger relative, the common hippopotamus. This semi-aquatic species has different behaviors than their larger relative. They can be aggressive but not belligerent. Pygmy hippopotamuses are a quarter of the size of a common hippo.
How cute are they?
Pygmy hippopotamus babies are the cutest of all the family hippopotamidae. The grown-ups of these semi-aquatic species are cute, but individuals fear to go near them as they can get aggressive if anyone invades their space.
How do they communicate?
Pygmy hippos use snorts, grunts, hisses and squeaks to communicate, but they are typically silent. They communicate through their body language and use scent marking with their feces to alert other hippos about their presence.
How big is a pygmy hippopotamus?
Pygmy hippopotamuses are around 59.05-68.89 in (150–175 cm) long, 29.5–39.3 in (75–100 cm) tall, and 397–606 lb (180–275 kg) in weight, which is less than a quarter of the size and weight of their larger cousin. They are slate gray in color and have a barrel-shaped body.
How fast can a pygmy hippopotamus move?
A pygmy hippopotamus can move at speeds of up to 18.6 mph (29 kmph).
How much does a pygmy hippopotamus weigh?
A pygmy hippopotamus weighs up to 397–606 lb (180–275 kg). Pygmy hippos weigh less than a quarter of the weight of their larger cousin and they are half as tall as the common hippopotamus.
What are the male and female names of the species?
A male pygmy hippopotamus is called a bull, and a female is called a cow. The species names for both the male and females is Hexaprotodon liberiensis.
What would you call a baby pygmy hippopotamus?
A baby pygmy hippopotamus is called a calf.
What do they eat?
Pygmy hippos are purely herbivorous. They eat fruits, roots, leaves, and ferns near streams and rivers. They prefer the roots, leaves, ferns, and other vegetation that has fallen on the forest floor and don't eat aquatic vegetation. And if they want to eat forest vegetation that is high up or on trees, they use their hind legs to stand.
Are they dangerous?
They are not dangerous but can become aggressive if anyone invades their space. They are very protective and territorial. They don't kill humans or any other species, but they will fight if they feel unsafe in their space.
Would they make a good pet?
Like the common hippos, a pygmy hippo cannot be a pet. Due to their aggressive nature, like a common hippopotamus, they don't like others to see or be close to their space.
Did you know...
Read some of these pygmy hippopotamus facts for kids.
In Nigeria, a distinct subspecies of pygmy hippopotamus lived until at least the 20th century, though it hasn't proved whether they were real or not. The British Museum of Natural History in London collected four pygmy hippopotamus skulls before 1969. Local populations of Nigeria were aware that the species once existed, but the fact was not documented well throughout history.
Is the pygmy hippopotamus endangered?
Yes, pygmy hippopotamuses are Endangered. It has been reported by IUCN that the population of this species of hippos is decreasing day by day. The biggest danger to the remaining population of pygmy hippopotamus is the loss of their habitat. In 2007 pygmy hippopotamuses were named one of the top-10 'Focal Species' by the Evolutionarily Distinct And Globally Endangered (EDGE) project.
In the food chain
Pygmy hippos consume a herbivorous diet. They eat fruits, roots, leaves, and ferns near streams and rivers. Lions, crocodiles, and hyenas eat pygmy hippos. Pygmy hippos don't kill humans, but they can be aggressive like their larger cousins (common hippos). They protect the space where they live and can fight with anyone who comes into their space.
You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one of our pygmy hippopotamus coloring pages.