Pygmy hippos stand about 75cm (30 in) high at the shoulder and weigh 180kg (400lb). At one-fifth of the weight, they are more solitary than their larger relatives and considerably less aquatic. Pygmy hippos have relatively small, less angular heads and narrower feet with fewer webbed toes, all adaptations for spending more time on land. The skin is greenish-black, shading to a creamy gray on the lower body. The average lifespan is 35 years. The gestation period ranges from 190-210 days, and usually a single young is born.
Pygmy hippos live either alone or in small groups, typically a mated pair and one calf. Both sexes have home ranges and there are numerous resting places throughout their territories, which they use exclusively when sleeping. They are found in moist to wet terrain. They forage at night, following well-worn trails, and spend the day hidden in swamps. Diet consists of shrubs, ferns and fruit.
The pygmy hippo is listed as endangered by IUCN.