What kind of animal is the pygmy hippopotamus? An explanation of its characteristics, ecology, and habitat


What kind of animal is a pygmy hippopotamus? We will explain its characteristics, ecology, and habitat. As its name suggests, it is a very small hippopotamus, and is a cute animal that is also called a little hippopotamus or mini hippopotamus. However, unfortunately, it is an animal designated as an endangered species.

What is a pygmy hippopotamus? Basic stats

The pygmy hippopotamus is a cetacean that belongs to the Hippopotamidae family. It is also called the little hippopotamus or mini hippopotamus. Its English name is Pygmy hippopotamus, its scientific name is Choeropsis liberiensis, and its kanji is dwarf hippopotamus. Its body length is 150-175cm, its weight is 180-275kg, and its shoulder height is 75-100cm. The list of information is as follows.

English(英名)Pygmy hippopotamus
scientific name(学名)Choeropsis liberiensis
classification(分類)Mammalia、Artiodactylca、 Hippopotamidae、Choeropsis


The pygmy hippopotamus lives in West Africa, in countries such as Guinea, Côte d’Ivoire, and Sierra Leone.

What are its characteristics? What kind of creature is it?

Pygmy hippos are basically nocturnal, active from dusk to late at night. They have a small, rounded head, no protruding eyes, and webbed feet between the two toes on their front legs. They are good swimmers and can spend long periods of time in the water, but they also prefer to live on land. Like hippos, they are not covered in fur, so they protect themselves from drying out by bathing in water and mud. Pygmy hippos like to live in the forest.

What is their personality like?

Pygmy hippos sometimes live in family groups consisting of pairs or their young, but they can also live alone.

What is their ecology?

Pygmy hippos are herbivorous, eating grass, rhizomes, leaves, fruit, etc. They reproduce viviparously. They are monogamous and have a gestation period of 180-210 days. They can give birth to one young at a time, and their lifespan is 10 to 20 years.

Do they have any natural enemies?

The natural enemies of the pygmy hippopotamus are leopards and humans.

Is the pygmy hippopotamus an endangered species?

The pygmy hippopotamus is an endangered species. It is listed in Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), so international trade is strictly restricted. The pygmy hippopotamus is a rare animal with a small population, and is considered one of the three most rare animals in the world along with the giant panda and okapi. For this reason, the destruction of habitats due to development, water pollution, and overhunting are progressing, which can be said to be critical. It is already extinct in Nigeria.

Can the pygmy hippopotamus be kept as a pet?

As mentioned above, the pygmy hippopotamus is designated as an endangered species and is also listed in the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), so international trade is strictly restricted. Therefore, it is extremely difficult to keep it as a pet.


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