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Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Pygmy Hippo still Alive

Different times I wrote about dwarf and pygmy species of different animals. I like them, they have that interesting view of "always a pup" that many of us wanted from our domestic animals.
Some days ago I was surprized to read a notice about pygmy hippo found alive in Liberia by a group of researchers of Zoological Society of London ( I ignored even existence of this organization -so I learned this notice too).

Here I want to share with you what I learned about this interesting animal.

There are 2 existing species of hippopotamus today.

In the pre-historic period there were dwarf species of hippo on the islands of Mediterranean Sea, on Cyprus, Creta, Malta and Sicily. Dwarf means, they become smaller as size because they lived on the island. But originally they descend from largest species.
Hippos were the biggest mammals there. They were 76 cm high, 121 cm long and about 200 kg of weight. Extinct in Cyprus, killed by early humans.

There were different pygmy species in Africa till modern time. 1 in Nigeria and 3 in Madagascar extinct not too much time ago. So, the only existing pygmy specie lives today in West Africa, in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Ivory Cost. Till this capture on the automatic camers traps scientist thought that they are not survived after 2 long and destructive wars. That is why see pygmy hippo -just on the 3-d day of traps (from 1 to 15 Februsry)- was the greatest joy for all -scientist and National Park dependants.

The country was virtually devoid of animals - domesticated or wild - after the wars. (Source)
Pygmy means that they are not big common species become smaller.
Did you know that they are nearest relatives of ... wales?
Common hippopotamus is
from 2,8 till 4,2 (!) m long, and has 35-50 cm tail (:)) )
Weight 2268- 3629 kg
lives till 40 years
passes 16 hours a day in water to protect his skin from sun
travels about 10 km a night and can run with the speed of a man (I thought much more)
eats 35 kg of grass
and has 1 calf every 2 years

Pygmy is about half of his common cousin.
There are about 3000 wild animals.
Photo from Nat.Geogr. post PHOTO IN THE NEWS: Pygmy Hippo Caught on Camera

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