Common Name: Warthog

Scientific Name: Phacochoerus africanus

 

Kingdom: Anamialia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Mammilia

Order: Artiodactyla

Family: Suidae

Genus: Phacochoerus

Species: P. africanus

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Have you ever thought about warthogs, beyond their nasty habits, and strange faces? Well you're reading the right thing. Warthog's are called their name for their warts on their face. They are found in savannas and the woodland's of sub-Saharan Africa. The most common are found in the open plains, grasslands, and they have been found in the arid Sahel region border. Warthogs are eradicated in agricultural areas of Africa, because down in the hot sun of Africa there is a sickness called the "African Swine Fever". This fever is caught by the Tsetse Fly. The Warthogs size and coloration are not too complicated to understand.

 

The warthogs are mostly 39-59 inches in length and 21.5-38 inches in height. The Males are typically bigger than the Female's. The males weigh between 150-200 pounds, and the female weighs between 99-156 pounds. They are found in a variety of colors from light red to brown, and gray to black. Newborns are born with a dark brown skin with light spots. They Have a large flat face with a prominent tusks. The upper tusks average from 8-24 inches in length, and the lower are about 4 inches in length. Both of the tusks are much smaller on the female's. Another key to a physical aspect of the male is the warts under his eyes.

 

The warts mirror on females and young. Warthog's behavior is somewhat tense. They live in a family with a female and her young. Sometimes, two families of related females, will join together. Males on the other hand only join the groups to mate. Warthogs sleep in little borrows. Even though they can excavate, warthogs usually use the den dug by other animals like aardvarks. Their shelter provides them for protection from the sun and insulation from cold. Before Females give birth to a new litter, she chases away her litter she has been raising and secludes herself. They may join up with other solitary females for a short time before they go on their own. Female warthogs only have four teats, so litter sizes usually are confined to four young. Each piglet has its "own" teat and suckles exclusively from it. Even if one piglet dies, the others do not suckle from the available teat. Although the young are suckled for about 4 months, after 2 months they get most of their nourishment from grazing.

 

Warthogs aren't really endangered, however they are the prey of lions, leopards, spotted hyena, and many more. When it comes to fighting, warthogs would rather run than fight, but they can be very fierce if forced to fight. They are known for ferociously defending their family. Warthogs can reach a top speed of 34 mph in emergencies. It is characteristic of warthog to run with its tail straight up like an antenna. Warthogs are slower and have less endurance than most savanna ungulates; therefore, burrows are essential to their safety when being chased. Also, warthogs have poor eyesight, putting them at an even greater disadvantage. Burrows do provide much needed protection for warthogs, particularly at night, yet leaving the burrows in the morning can be risky for lions often sniff out occupied burrows at night. Juveniles often have very low survival rate. Their vulnerability to prey along with their susceptibility to cold exposure and malnutrition during drought result in, juvenile survival rates of less than fifty-percent during the first year. Although Warthog's have unusual habits, they are pretty interesting. Warthogs have very distinctive thoughts on what to do and how to do it. They have many habits compared to your usual pigs. For instance warthog's love to bathe in the mud and so do pigs. Warthogs are very lucky to be in the place they are. All in all warthog's are dirty and wild.

 

Author: Lauren D

Published: 02/2009

 

Sources: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warthog http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/classification/Phacochoerus_africanus.html http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/warthog.html

Photo Credit: http://hedweb.com/warthog2.htm