Warthog

Warthog

Mammalia

SCIENTIFIC CLASSIFICATION

COMMON NAME: warthog
KINGDOM: Animalia
PHYLUM: Chordata
CLASS: Mammalia
ORDER: Artiodactyla
FAMILY: Suidae
GENUS SPECIES: Phacochoerus (mole or wart, hog) aethiopicus, Phacochoerus africanus

FAST FACTS

DESCRIPTION: Pig-like animal, black or brown in color, with coarse but sparse hair covering body. Its face is long with fleshy warts and protruding tusks.
SIZE: 0.9-1.5 m (2.9-4.9 ft.) in length; 63.5-85.0 cm (2.1-2.8 ft.) tall at shoulder
WEIGHT: 50-150 kg (110-330 lb.)
DIET: Grasses, roots, berries, bark, and occasionally carrion
GESTATION: 170-175 days
SEXUAL MATURITY: 18-20 months
LIFE SPAN: Over 18 years
RANGE: Occurs in Central Africa and to the south, from the West Coast to the East Coast
HABITAT: Usually found in savannah and lightly forested areas
POPULATION: GLOBAL No data
STATUS: IUCN Not listed
CITES Not listed
USFWS Not listed

FUN FACTS

1. Warthogs travel in groups called sounders consisting of 1 or 2 sows and young offspring. Males usually travel alone.
2. Boars have more prominent warts than sows. They are primarily used to protect the face during fights.
3. Warthogs use burrows for shelter and when entering, the hogs back in. This enables them to defend themselves. In the mornings, warthogs burst out of their burrows at top speed to get a running start on any predators that may be lurking nearby.
4. Although they look fierce, warthogs would rather run than fight. But they can be fierce opponents if forced.

ECOLOGY AND CONSERVATION

Warthogs allow birds, such as the yellow hornbills, to eat parasites that live on their bodies. This symbiotic relationship allows the birds to have a constant food source and the hogs to rid themselves of pests. These rooting animals are beneficial to the land by churning up the soil and allowing it to be aerated, which aids plant growth.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Estes, Richard D. The Safari Companion. Post Mills, Vermont: Chelsea Green Publishing Co., 1993.

Harbrecht, Doug. "Beauty or Beast?" International Wildlife. July - Aug. 1992, pp. 30-36

Nowak, Ronald M. (ed.). Walker's Mammals of the World. Vol. 2. Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 1991.

Parker, Sybil P. (ed.). Grzimek's Encyclopedia of Mammals. Vol. 5. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1989.