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The Pygmy Hippopotamus

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Submitted By scbuse
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The pygmy hippopotamus (Choeropsis liberiensis or Hexaprotodon liberiensis) is a petite portrayal of the hippopotamid native to the forests and swamps of West Africa. Theyare predominately found in Liberia and small populations in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Ivory Coast. The pygmy hippo is reclusive and nocturnal. It is one of only two survivng species in the Hippopotamidae family,and of course the other being its much larger cousin the common hippopotamus. The pygmy displays many terrestrial ajustments, but like its enormous cousin, it is semi-aquatic and relies on a close relationship to water to keep its skin moistined and its body temperature cool. Characteristics including things as mating and giving birth may occur in water or on land. The pygmy are vegetarians, they feed on ferns, broad-leaved plants, grasses and fruits they find in the forests. A night-loving forest creature, the pygmy hippopotamus is a rare and difficult animal to study in the wild. They were unknown outside of West Africa until the 19th century. Introduced to zoos in the early 20th century, they breed well in captivity and the vast majority of research is derived from zoo hippos. The survival of the species in captivity is more secure and certain than those in the wild; the World Conservation Union estimates that there are fewer than 3,000 pygmies remaining in the wild. Pygmy hippos are extrememly threatened by the loss of their habitat, as forests are logged, cleared, and converted to farm land.They are also vulnerable to poaching, hunting, natural predators and war among countries in the wild.…...

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