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


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


Variable from 40-350 kg

Males usually larger than females


Dark gray to black or brown


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.


No warts, although some types may have tassels

Piglet colouring

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


300 mm

Anatomical points


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


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.


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


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.


Construct crude shelters by cutting grass

Peak activity

Nocturnal and crepuscular

Swift runners and good swimmers


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.


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



Full range of pig diseases