pygmy hippopotamus


: a small hippopotamus (Hexaprotodon liberiensis synonym Choeropsis liberiensis) of western Africa and especially Liberia that may reach a weight of nearly 600 pounds (270 kilograms)

Note: In addition to its smaller size, the pygmy hippopotamus differs from the common hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius) in being nocturnal and less aquatic and in having a rounder head with the eyes set to the sides, less webbing between the toes, and only one pair of lower incisor teeth.

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web The Metro Richmond Zoo welcomed the birth of a pygmy hippopotamus in time for Christmas, according to a December 22 news release from the zoo. Zoe Sottile, CNN, 25 Dec. 2022 The forest-dwelling pygmy hippopotamus is endangered. Liam Gravvat, USA TODAY, 27 Sep. 2022 Yes, the San Francisco Zoo now has a pygmy hippopotamus. Chase Difeliciantonio, San Francisco Chronicle, 15 Oct. 2022 The other, smaller species is the pygmy hippopotamus, which is found in West Africa. Liam Gravvat, USA TODAY, 27 Sep. 2022 The Houston Zoo on Tuesday announced the newest member of its animal family, a 450-pound male pygmy hippopotamus named Silas. Marcy De Luna, Chron, 25 Nov. 2020 On Friday, the San Diego Zoo announced that on April 9, their 4-year-old pygmy hippopotamus named Mabel welcomed a male calf — the zoo's first successful pygmy hippo birth in more than three decades. Benjamin Vanhoose,, 19 May 2020 Mabel, a 4-year-old pygmy hippopotamus at the San Diego Zoo, gave birth to her first calf last month, the zoo announced Friday. Leah Asmelash, CNN, 16 May 2020 The most gruesome death involved a pygmy hippopotamus that was slowly boiled to death in his tank. Dawn Mitchell, Indianapolis Star, 20 Feb. 2020 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pygmy hippopotamus.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

First Known Use

1874, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of pygmy hippopotamus was in 1874

Dictionary Entries Near pygmy hippopotamus

Cite this Entry

“Pygmy hippopotamus.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Feb. 2023.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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