Hippopotamus minor (Desmarest, 1822)

Cyprus dwarf hippo(potamus), Cypriot pygmy hippo(potamus)



Taxonomy & Nomenclature

Synonym/s: Phanourios minor Desmarest, 1822


Conservation Status


Last record: Late Pleistocene





Biology & Ecology










Original scientific description:

Desmarest, A. G. (1822). Mammalogie ou description des espèces de mammifères. Mme Veuve Agasse imprimeur édit., Paris, 2ème part., pp.277-555.


Other references:

Alcover, Josep Antoni et al. (1998). Mammal Species of the World: Additional Data on Insular Mammals. American Museum Novitates 3248, 29 pp., 1 table.

Bate, Dorothy M. A. (1906). The pigmy Hippopotamus of Cyprus. Geological Magazine 3: 241-245.

Boekschoten G. J. and Sondaar, P.Y. (1972). On the fossil mamalia of Cyprus, I & II. Proceedings of the Koninklijke Nederlandse Akademie van Wetenschappen (Series B), 75(4): 306-338.

Caloi, L., Palombo, M.R., 1983. Osservazioni sugli ippopotami nani delle isole del Mediterraneo. Geologica Romana 22: 45-83.

Forsyth Major, C. J. (1902). On the pigmy Hippopotamus from the Pleistocene of Cyprus, Proceed-ings of the Zoological Society of London, 1902(2): 107-112.

Hadjicostis, Menelaos (6 December 2007). Dwarf Hippo Fossils Found on Cyprus. Fox Television (The Associated Press). Accessed 22/2/2012.

Houtekamer, J. L. and Sondaar, Paul Y. (1979). Osteology of the fore limb of the Pleistocene dwarf hippopotamus from Cyprus with special reference to phylogeny and function. Proceedings of the Koninklijke Nederlandse Akadamie van Wetenschappen s.B 82(4): 411-448.

Kolb C, Scheyer TM, Veitschegger K, Forasiepi AM, Amson E, Van der Geer AAE, Van den Hoek Ostende LW, Hayashi S, Sánchez-Villagra MR. (2015) Mammalian bone palaeohistology: a survey and new data with emphasis on island forms. PeerJ 3: e1358.

Liakopoulou, D., van Heteren, A. H., Georgitsis, M. and Theodorou, G. (2017). Observations on the inner morphology of os petrosum of Phanourios minor with the use of micro CT, pp 114. In: Book of Abstracts of the 15th Congress of the RCMNS (Regional Committee on Mediterranean Neogene Stratigraphy), entitled “Exploring a “physical laboratory”: the Mediterranean Basin”, Crown Plaza Hotel, Athens, Greece, September 3-6, 2017.

Marra, A.C., 1998. Ippopotami insulari del Pleistocene del Mediterraneo. Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Modena, Italy, XI cycle.

Marra, Antonella Cinzia. (2005a). Pleistocene Hippopotamuses of Mediterranean islands: looking for ancestors. InALcoVER, J.A. & BOVER, P. (eds.): Proceedings of the International Symposium "Insular VertebrateEvolution: thePalaeontological Approach': Monografies de la Societatd'Història Natural de les Balears 12: 193-204.

Marra, Antonella Cinzia. (2005b). Pleistocene mammals of Mediterranean islands. Quaternary International 129: 5-14.

Nicolaou, Loucas et al. (2020). Population dynamics on Aetokremnos hippos of Cyprus or have Cypriots ever tasted hippo meat? Quaternary International 568: 55-64. [Abstract]

Christopher G. Provatidis, Evangelos G.Theodorou and George E. Theodorou. (2011). Computed tomography and CAD/CAE methods for the study of the osseus inner ear bone of Greek Quaternary endemic mammals. Mediterranean Archaeology and Archaeometry 11(2): 121‐127.

Reese, D. S. (1995). The Pleistocene Vertebrate Sites and Fauna of Cyprus. Cyprus Geological Survey Department Bulletin 9: 1-203.

Simmons, A. H. (1988). Extinct pigmy hippopotamus and early man in Cyprus. Nature 333: 554-557. [Abstract]

Simmons, A. H. (1991). Humans, island colonization and Pleistocene extinctions in the Mediterranean: the view from Akrotiri Aetokremnos, Cyprus. Antiquity 249: 857-869.

Simmons, A. H. (1999). Faunal extinction in an island society: pygmy hippopotamus hunters of Cyprus. Interdisciplinary Contributions to Archaeology. Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers. [Preview available on Google Books]

Spaan, A. (1996). Hippopotamus creutzburgi: the case of the Cretan Hippopotamus. In: Reese, D.S. (Ed.), Pleistocene and Holocene Fauna of Crete and Its First Settlers. Monograph in World Archaeology, Vol. 28. Prehistory Press, Madison, WI, pp. 99-111.

Spaan, A., Sondaar, P. Y. and Hartman, W. (1994).The structure of the evolutionary process. Geobios 27: 385-390.

Theodorou, G., Panayides, I., Stathopoulou, E., Papaspyropoulos, C., Agiadi, K. and Tsolakis, E. (2004). Remarks on the endemic fossil Hippopotamus from Aghia Napa (Cyprus). 5th International Symposium on Eastern Mediterranean Geology Thessaloniki, Greece, 14‐20 April, T8‐11, 2004 p.

Theodorou G. E., Roussiakis S. I., Athanassiou A.,  Giaourtsakis I. and Panayides I. (2007). A Late Pleistocene endemic genet (Carnivora, Viverridae) from Aghia Napa, Cyprus. Proceedings of the 11th International Congress, Athens, May, 2007. Bulletin of the Geological Society of Greece 40: 201-208.

Van Den Bergh, G. D. (1999). The late Neogene elephantoidbearing faunas of Indonesia and their palaeozoogeographic implications. Scripta Geologica 117: 1-419.

van der Greer, Alexandra Anna. (2014). Parallel patterns and trends in functional structures in extinct island mammals. Integrative Zoology. DOI: 10.1111/1749-4877.12066

Van der Geer A, Lyras G, De Vos J, Dermitzakis M. (2010). Evolution of island mammals. Adaptation and extinction of placental mammals on islands. Sussex: Wiley-Blackwell.

Zazzo, A., Lebon, M., Quiles, A., Reiche, I. and Vigne, J-D. (2015). Direct Dating and Physico-Chemical Analyses Cast Doubts on the Coexistence of Humans and Dwarf Hippos in Cyprus. PLoS ONE 10(8): e0134429.