Titus the hippo

common nameconservation status
 Pygmy HippopotamusEndangered (EN)
scientific namesize
 Choeropsis liberiensis 75–100 cm (2.46–3.28 ft) de alto
150–175 cm (4.92–5.74 ft) de longitud
familyweigh
 Hippopotamidae 180–275 kg (397–606 lb)
orderlifespan
 Artiodactyla 30-55 years (in captivity, estimated to be less in the wild)
class gestation period
 Mammalia 190-210 days
 population diet
 An estimated of 2,000-3,000 individualsIt is a herbivore. It feeds on ferns, plants and fruits.
habitatrange
Forests and swamps of West Africa. They always live in areas close to the water, as it is a semi-aquatic animal. Forests and swamps of Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Ivory Coast and Nigeria.

Did you know...

1.

It is one of only two living species of Hippopotamidae, the other one being the common hippopotamus (its much larger relative).

 

2.

Natural predators of the pigmy hippopotamus are leopards, but also pythons and crocodiles can pose a threat to calves.

 

3.

There are two subspecies: “liberensis” (Liberia, Sierra leone and Ivory Coast) and “heslopi” (Nigeria). The second one is believed to be extinct. Differences between them are based in the size of the skull, even though these estimations were drawn from dead specimens, hunted years ago.

 

4.

The skin of these animals is sensitive to the sun, so they spend most of their time in the water. Moreover, their sweat is pink (it contains two pigmented acids that color their grey skin), and it becomes solid and brown in color when these acids get dry and react.

 

5.

The pink color of their sweat made the first colonists believe that these animals sweated blood. This alkaline pigmented sweat is actually the perfect sunscreen. It is also waterproof and an antiseptic.

 

6.

The name “hippopotamus” comes from the ancient Greek and it means “river horse”.

7.

These animals have strong muscular valves that close when they submerge into the water to protect their nostrils and ears.

 

8.

They are nocturnal. They spend the day hidden in rivers, taking cover from the sun, and they come out at night to feed.

 

9.

They are solitary animals that live alone or in small family groups.

 

10.

Hippopotamus can open their mouth very wide. In the case of their older brothers, up to 120 degrees. Pygmy hippopotamus a little less. They open their mouths like this as a warning sign to scare their enemies away.

 

11.

Strange as it may seem, whales are the closest living relatives of hippopotamus.

 

12.

This animal is endangered due to habitat loss: the forests they inhabit are cleared for farm lands and plantations. Also due to poaching, natural predators and wars.

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