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Pygmy hippo calf makes its debut at Australian zoo

Pygmy hippo calf Kambiri is appearing in short stints at an exhibit at Sydney's Taronga Zoo. The pygmy hippo is just one of many species of tiny versions of animals.

Kambiri, a month-old pygmy hippo calf, explores her enclosure at Taronga Zoo in Sydney Thursday. Zoo officials say Kambiri is the first pygmy hippo calf reared at the zoo in 20 years.

Tim Wimborne/Reuters

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A cute-as-a-button pygmy hippo is in the spotlight, a month after the tot was born at Australia's Taronga Zoo.

Named "Kambiri" (Nigerian for "allow me to join this family"), the female infant was born on June 26, weighing just 11.7 pounds (5.3 kilograms). She is putting on about 10.6 ounces (300 grams) of weight a day and has already doubled her birth weight to 29 pounds (13 kg). When mature, pygmy hippos (Hexaprotodon liberiensis) can reach weights between 352 and 605 pounds (160 to 275 kg), still 10 times lighter than normal-size hippos.

The pygmy hippo is just one of several dwarf-size creatures in the animal kingdom; these petite creatures range in size from the pygmy marmoset and pygmy possum that could both fit in the palm of your hand to the pygmy horse and pygmy hog, which are smaller than their normal-size counterparts, but definitely wouldn't fit in your fist.

IN PICTURES: Zoo babies

The animals are not just scaled-down versions of their hefty counterparts, either. For instance, the pygmy hippo is not as adapted to life in the water as the hippo and so its feet are not as webbed and it bears its calves on land not water.


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