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If you're a hippopotamus enthusiast, there are only two remaining species of the massive creatures that you can see with your own eyes today: the common hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius) and the pygmy hippopotamus (Choeropsis liberiensis). Although the two have a lot in common, the latter is of significantly more diminutive size.
Geography of the Common Hippopotamus
You can find the common hippopotamus in areas of Africa below the Sahara Desert and in the eastern central region of the continent. The semi-aquatic creatures also reside in many African countries, including Botswana, Eritrea, Burkina Faso, Senegal, Kenya, Gambia, Rwanda, Chad, Mozambique, Ghana, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, South Africa, Sudan, Cameroon, Swaziland, Central African Republic, the Republic of Congo, Uganda and Togo.
Common Hippopotamus Natural Habitat
The common hippopotamus is a companionable creature that lives mostly in swamp, stream and river settings. These hippopotamuses are also often found in lakes, as long as the water isn't too deep or shallow. Depth of around 6.5 feet is optimal, according to Animal Diversity Web of the University of Michigan. The common hippopotamus is never too far from water. H20 is vital for the animals, as it cools them down and stops dehydration.
Geography of the Pygmy Hippopotamus
The pygmy hippopotamus is a more timorous species that lives in Western Africa. These mammals, which appear to be scaled-down versions of common hippos, are prevalent in African nations such as Cote d'Ivoire and Liberia. Pygmy hippopotamuses also inhabit Guinea and Sierra Leone, although to a lesser degree.
Pygmy Hippopotamus Natural Habitat
Pygmy hippos tend to live in swamps, damp forests and areas close to creeks. They are common along rivers that goes through woodlands and often set up residence in burrows by the water. They are very often in the water as their skin dries very easily and quickly. Pygmy hippos usually live in areas of very ample vegetation.
If you want to find hippopotamuses out in the wild, Africa is the place to be. However, some common and pygmy hippopotamuses live in captive environments. The ZSL Whipsnade Zoo in London, England, is home to both common and pygmy hippos, for example.
- Lincoln Park Zoo: Pygmy Hippopotamus
- Wildlife Conservation Society: Common Hippopotamus
- National Geographic: Hippopotamus
- San Diego Zoo's Animal Bytes: Pygmy Hippopotamus
- American Wildlife Foundation: Hippopotamus
- University of Michigan Animal Diversity Web: Hippopotamus amphibius
- EDGE: Pygmy Hippopotamus
- Arkive: Hippopotamus
- Photos.com/Photos.com/Getty Images