Archaeopotamus (†Archaeopotamus Boisserie, 2005)
Time period: during the late Miocene- late Pliocene (Africa and Middle East, 7.5 - 1.8 mya)
Size: 3 m in length, 140 cm in height, 500 -900 kg of weight
Typical representative: †Archaeopotamus harvardi (Coryndon 1977)
Archaeopotamus is an extinct genus of Hippopotamidae that lived between 7.5 and 1.8 million years ago in Africa and the Middle East. The genus was described in 2005 to encompass species of hippos that were previously grouped in Hexaprotodon.
Archaeopotamus harvardi is a species of hippo first described in 1977, originally as Hexaprotodon harvardi. Although the proportions of A. harvardi and A. lothagamensis are similar, the former species is significantly smaller. Femurs of A. harvardi are approximately the same size as those of the modern hippopotamus.
Another group of fossils, originally described as Hexaprotodon sahabiensis or the Abu Dhabi Hippopotamus, are now considered to belong to A. harvardi or A. lothagamensis. The fossil record for A. harvardi is more extensive than for other Archaeopotamus.
A. harvardi is believed to have had a more riparian lifestyle than A. lothagamensis.