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Pygmy hippopotamus facts

OTHER COMMON NAMES
French: Hippopotame nain; German: Zwergflusspferd; Spanish: Hipopotamo enano.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS
Length 5–6 ft (1.5–1.eight m); weight 350–600 lb (159–272 kg). The pygmy hippo is analogous to its bigger cousin in its normal physique form; its head, nonetheless, is proportionately smaller with much less protuberant eyes, which, with the ears and nostrils, are usually not so excessive on the pinnacle. Its limbs and neck are comparatively longer, and the again slopes ahead as an alternative of being parallel with the bottom as within the frequent hippo. The pores and skin is darker than that of the bigger species—a blackish colour.

TAXONOMY
Hippopotamus minor (Morton, 1849), St. Paul’s River, Liberia. Two subspecies, Hexaprotodon liberiensis liberiensis and H. l. heslopi, however the latter is likely extinct.

DISTRIBUTION
The pygmy hippo is confined to West Africa with Liberia containing nearly all of the inhabitants. Other nations with pygmy hippos are Guinea, Ivory Coast, and Sierra Leone.

HABITAT
A forest animal that spends the day in or close to water, normally a river or stream, which it leaves at evening to forage. Some, a minimum of, occupy burrows within the banks of rivers; it isn't clear whether or not the hippo excavates the burrow itself or merely enlarges an current gap.

BEHAVIOR
Its habits within the wild is insufficiently recognized. It is normally discovered alone, though pairs happen. It shouldn't be clear whether or not the species is monogamous or promiscuous. It follows game trails and spreads its feces with its tail.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET
Feeds with its lips; its weight loss program is diversified, with fruits and ferns figuring prominently. Grass is quickly eaten when accessible.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY
Polygamous. Copulates both on land or within the water after a consorting interval; it isn't recognized how lengthy the pair bond persists. Estimates of the gestation interval differ from 188 to 210 days. Births happen in water or on land, and singletons are the rule. Birth weights of 35 calves in Basel Zoo averaged 12.61 lb (5.73 kg). S*xual maturity in zoo specimens happens between three and 5 years of age; it's most likely later within the wild. The calf doesn't comply with its mom when she is foraging, remaining in hiding and visited at intervals to be suckled.

CONSERVATION STATUS
Listed on Appendix I of CITES, and the IUCN lists it as Vulnerable to extinction, primarily by means of lack of habitat. It adapts effectively to captivity and breeds readily in order that it may, if needed, be maintained indefinitely in zoos.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS
Not usually a risk to human beings, though it's a formidable animal and may trigger damage to hunters. It often raids crops. It is the topic of a lot folklore.