pygmy hippopotamus

Choeropsis liberiensis

Common name

pygmy hippopotamus

Habitat

It lives in dense jungle areas, mainly in small rivers inside humid jungles.
Features

Family

Hippopotamidae

Medals

Cetartiodactyla

Class

Mammalia

Gestation

196-201 days

Number of offspring

1

Preproduction

Diet

Leaves, aquatic plants, fallen fruits, roots and tubers. He uses his thick lips to bring food to his mouth.

Life

Up to 55 years in captivity

Biology and behavior

Unlike the common hippopotamus, the pygmy or dwarf hippopotamus has mainly terrestrial habits, especially at night. It dives into the water, especially to escape from its predators. For this reason, it has eyes located more laterally on the head. In addition, their feet are narrower to be able to walk better on land. They are barrel-shaped and, although they are smaller than the common hippopotamus, they can weigh up to 270 kg. The lower jaw is attached to the back of the skull, allowing them to open their mouth up to 150º, and they cut food with their thick lips instead of their teeth.

Pygmy hippos are not social animals, but rather solitary. They prefer to live in areas of rivers and lakes with grass nearby. They look for food at night and during the day they usually hide in swamps or other animals' burrows. They usually take mud baths to protect themselves from mosquito bites between the folds of their skin. In addition, they establish mutualistic relationships with birds, which eliminate parasites from their bodies.

The main predators of the dwarf hippopotamus are leopards and humans. The latter hunts them to obtain and sell their meat and ivory canines. This is the main reason why this species is considered threatened.

Some
curiosities

For a long time it was thought that hippos sweat blood. However, it is now known that this particular sweating is due to a reddish pigment found in the secretions of these animals and that protects them against sunburn and prevents infections in superficial wounds.

African savanna
Wetlands
africans
Habitats
Equatorial jungle
Madagascar Island