Wild Boar

 

Scientific name

Sus scrofa

Other names

All domestic breeds of pigs

Global distribution

Originally, Europe and Asia.  Current worldwide due to reverted ‘wild’ domestic form human introduction into Australia and North America

Habitat

Widespread, generally where there is vegetation for cover.  Most plentiful in oak forests and reed beds in Asia.  A major limiting factor is snow depths of 40-50 cm.

Conservation status

Widespread and hunted

Physical characteristics

Body size

 

900 – 1,800 mm.  Shoulder height 550 – 1,100 mm

Weight

Variable from 40-350 kg

Males usually larger than females

Colouring

Dark gray to black or brown

Hair

Stiff bristles and usually some finer fur.  The pelage is often quite scant and the tail is only lightly covered. 

There may be a mane on the nape and side whiskers.

Wart

No warts, although some types may have tassels

Piglet colouring

Wild piglets are stripped.  Generally the domesticated forms are not stripped.

Tail

300 mm

Anatomical points

Peculiarities

Oesophageal diverticulum

Pyloric torus – bile duct close to stomach

Preputial diverticulum

Testes upside down

Lymph nodes reversed anatomy

Multipapillary kidney

Piglets born with 8 needle teeth

Glands

Carpal glands

Dental formulae

( i 3/3, c 1/1, pm 4/4, m 3/3) x 2 – 44

The canines in males the inferior surface is narrower than the posterior surface.  The female canines are small versions of the male.

Behaviour points

Maturing age

5-12 months male

6-  months female

Mating ritual

Males join group for mating and then leave.

Conflict

Animals walk parallel to each other, edge closer until shoulders touch and then shoving begins.

They may rear up, lean against each other and attempt to knock each other off balance.

In neither yields, thrust with the mouth open and tusks bared

Seasonal breeding

Breeding occurs throughout the year in the tropics, birth peaks shortly before or just after the rains.  In the temperate regions the young are born in the spring.

Oestrus period

18-24 days

Gestation period

112 – 120 days

Litter size and lactation

6-12 up to 40 domestic breeds

Lactation

6 pairs of teats.  Lie down to suckle.

Weaning age

8-12 weeks

Family groups

Small groups of 6 females sow and litter.  Males solitary.  S. scrofa may occur in sounders up to 100 individuals.

 

S. verrucosus comprise of 4-6 individuals

 

S. barbatus, bands or sounders may form comprising of hundreds to join for the annual migration.

Cooling behaviour

Mud wallows and avoidance – shade.

Sleeping

Construct crude shelters by cutting grass

Peak activity

Nocturnal and crepuscular

Swift runners and good swimmers

Range

May migrate over distances.  2-15 km overnight within an area of 20-150 ha.  Home range over a period of 2-3 months is 500-1,000 ha for adult females and 1,000 -2,000 ha for adult males.

S. barbatus may over hundreds of kilometers in the course of the year.

Diet

Omnivore – fruit, seeds, roots, grasses, insects, small mammals and scavenging

Diseases/

disorders

Full range of pig diseases