Pot-Bellied Pig

Pot-Bellied Pig

Mammalia

SCIENTIFIC CLASSIFICATION

COMMON NAME: pot-bellied pig, Chinese pot-bellied pig, Asian pot-bellied pig
KINGDOM: Animalia
PHYLUM: Chordata
CLASS: Mammalia
ORDER: Artiodactyla
FAMILY: Suidae
GENUS SPECIES: Sus (pig) scrofa (breeding sow)

FAST FACTS

DESCRIPTION: The pot-bellied pig has black skin with scarce hair, short erect ears and a short snout. It also has a sagging abdomen and the very loose skin gives a wrinkled appearance. A true pot-bellied pig has a straight tail that attaches high on the rump. If the tails curls at all, this is a sign of cross breeding.
SIZE: Approximate shoulder height of 35-45 cm (14-18 in)
WEIGHT: Up to 67.5 kg (150 lb.)
DIET: Omnivores - includes grasses, eggs, frogs, snakes, and fish
GESTATION: Gestation lasts approximately 114 days; usually has 6 piglets
SEXUAL MATURITY: Approximately 5-7 months
LIFE SPAN: 10-20 years, is able to live to 30 years
RANGE: Southeast Asia
HABITAT: Inhabits open woodlands
POPULATION: GLOBAL Common
STATUS: IUCN Not listed
CITES Not listed
USFWS Not listed

FUN FACTS

1. Pigs' skin lacks hair, so they are very sensitive to the sun. In the wild they wallow in the mud to stay cool and protect their skin.
2. Pigs use their snout for rutting and foraging.
3. Vietnamese pot-bellied's are a sub-species of the common pig, probably descended from a Chinese ancestor.
4. Pigs have poor vision but excellent senses of smell and hearing.
5. In the wild, they may form herds of considerable numbers, one herd keeping its distance from others. Herd members communicate with a variety of squeaks, grunts, gurgles and other sounds, including different sneezes.
6. The origin of the piggy bank in American society probably dates back to ancient China. Emperor Huang-Ti invented the Chinese calendar in 2367 B.C. and gave each year an animal representative. The year of the pig represents prosperity.

ECOLOGY AND CONSERVATION

Vietnamese pot-bellied pigs are popular pets due to their smaller size, lack of shedding, and tough skin, which resists fleas and parasites. They can be trained to the same extent as a dog and can even be house broken.

Pigs in general help turn over soil, promoting new plant growth.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Grzimek, B. Grzimek's Animal Life Encyclopedia. Vol. 13 New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold Co., 1972.

Huckaby. L. Pot-bellied Pigs and Other Miniature Pet Pigs. TFH Pub., NJ., 1992.

Honolulu Zoo. http://www.honoluluzoo.org/potbellied_pig.htm

Santa Barbara Zoo. http://www.santabarbarazoo.org/animals/mammals/vietpig.html