Pygmy Hippopotamus Common hippopotamus
IUCN Status Endangered Vulnerable
Weight 150-300 kg 1500-4500 kg
Location West Africa - Guinea, Liberia, Cote d'Ivoire, Sierra Leone 29 countries in Africa - including Uganda, Tanzania, South Africa, Cote d'Ivoire, Zimbabwe
Physical characteristics Sloping profile, pig-like in shape, eyes on side of head, splayed toes  Eyes, ears and nostrils on top of head
webbed toes
Diet Leaves, ferns,  grasses, fallen fruit Grasses
Behavior Solitary, aggressive when cornered, nocturnal, reclusive, more terrestrial than common hippo Social, gregarious, polygamous, very aggressive, nocturnal
Lifespan 30-50 years 40-50 years
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When people think of hippos, they tend to think of the common hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibious). Some of the first thoughts that come to mind are usually about large teeth and gaping jaws, and the dangers they pose to people.

The pygmy hippopotamus (Choeropsis liberiensis) is an endangered species found only in the Upper Guinea Forests of West Africa.  Though pygmy hippos look similar to their larger relatives, these endangered creatures are less aggressive, much smaller, and have some important physical features that differentiate them.

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