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Warthog
Warthog
P. a. massaicus, male, Serengeti, Tanzania
Information
Common Name Common Warthog
Range Africa
Scientific Classification
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Mammalia
Order Artiodactyla
Family Suidae
Genus Phacochoerus
Species Phacochoerus africanus
Conservation Status
LCSpecies
Least Concern

The Warthog is a species from the Phacochoerus genus. It is a wild member of the pig family that lives in grassland, savanna, and woodland in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Appearance

Warthogs range in size from 0.9 to 1.5 m (3.0 to 4.9 ft) in length and 50 to 75 kg (110 to 170 lb) in weight. A warthog is identifiable by the two pairs of tusks protruding from the mouth and curving upwards. The lower pair, which is far shorter than the upper pair, becomes razor sharp by rubbing against the upper pair every time the mouth is opened and closed. The upper canine teeth can grow to 23 cm (9.1 in), and are of a squashed circle shape in cross section, almost rectangular, being about 4.5 cm (1.8 in) deep and 2.5 cm (0.98 in) wide. A tusk will curve 90 degrees or more from the root,[citation needed] and will not lie flat on a table, as it curves somewhat backwards as it grows. The tusks are used for digging, for combat with other hogs, and in defense against predators—the lower set can inflict severe wounds.

Habitat

The warthog is the only pig species that has adapted to grazing and savanna habitats.

Behavior

Warthogs are not territorial but instead occupy a home range. Warthogs live in groups called sounders. Females live in sounders with their young and with other females. Females tend to stay in their natal groups while males leave but stay within the home range.

Diet

Its diet is omnivorous, composed of grasses, roots, berries and other fruits, bark, fungi, insects, eggs and carrion.

Lifespan

Warthogs are seasonal breeders. Rutting begins in the late rainy or early dry season and birthing begins near the start of the following rainy season. The typical gestation period is five or six months. When they are about to give birth, sows temporarily leave their families to farrow in a separate hole. The litter is two to eight piglets, with two to four typical.

Gallery

  • P. a. massaicus, male, Serengeti, Tanzania.
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