The Wild boar has a rather extensive natural range, covering forests of Europe, north-western Africa and Asia. This wild pig is the ancestor of the contemporary domestic pig. The Wild boar is capable of adapting and living in a wide range of environments.
This omnivorous mammal consumes nearly any type of food that it’s able to accommodate in its mouth. The Wild boar is an excellent swimmer and a very fast runner. In this article, you will learn about the most common things of Wild boar with Pritish Kumar.
The Wild boars are commonly found and abundant animals, occurring throughout the globe, except for Antarctica. The natural habitat of this species covers parts of Europe and Asia.
Additionally, the Wild boars have been introduced to South and North America. Currently, these animals are considered invaders throughout the southeastern United States and California. Preferred types of habitats are grassy savanna areas, wooded forests, agricultural areas, shrublands and marshy swamplands. Overall, Wild boars live in areas with a constant source of water and dense vegetative cover to serve them as refuge from predators.
The head acts as a plough, while the powerful neck muscles allow the animal to upturn considerable amounts of soil: it is capable of digging 8–10 cm (3.1–3.9 in) into frozen ground and can upturn rocks weighing 40–50 kg (88–110 lb). The eyes are small and deep-set and the ears long and broad. The species has well developed canine teeth, which protrude from the mouths of adult males. The medial hooves are larger and more elongated than the lateral ones and are capable of quick movements. The animal can run at a maximum speed of 40 km/h (25 mph) and jump at a height of 140–150 cm (55–59 in).
The canine teeth are also much more prominent in males and grow throughout life. The upper canines are relatively short and grow sideways early in life, though they gradually curve upwards.
The lower canines are much sharper and longer, with the exposed parts measuring 10–12 cm (3.9–4.7 in) in length. In the breeding period, males develop a coating of subcutaneous tissue, which may be 2–3 cm (0.79–1.18 in) thick, extending from the shoulder blades to the rump, thus protecting vital organs during fights. Males sport a roughly egg-sized sack near the opening of the penis, which collects urine and emits a sharp odour. The function of this sack is not fully understood.
Habits and Lifestyle
As a nocturnal mammal, the Wild boar is active during the night, when it leaves its shelter to find food. This animal spends as much as 12 hours per day sleeping in a nest, constructed out of leaves.
Females of this species exhibit a social behavior, forming so-called “sounders” – loosely organized groups of 6 – 30 individuals. Each of these units is composed of breeding females and their offspring. Two or more groups may occasionally share the same area without mixing each other.
Male Wild boars tend to lead solitary life during the most of the year. They socialize only in the reproductive season, during which they frequently occur near sounders as well as territories of other breeding males. The communication system of these animals includes vocalizations such as growls, which express aggression. They also use squealing calls, typically when excited or to display friendly attitude.
Diet and Nutrition
As an omnivorous species, the Wild boar consumes food of both plant and animal origin. The diet of these mammals is generally composed of plants such as crops, fruits, nuts (mast), roots and green plants, supplemented with bird eggs, carrion, small rodents, insects and worms.
Additionally, the Wild boar has been known to hunt on livestock such as small calves or lambs.
Wild boars exhibit a polygynous mating system, where each breeding male defends its mating rights. The winning male will mate with females in a sounder. Breeding occurs year-round. Gestation period lasts for 108 – 120 days, yielding a litter of 4 – 6 piglets. Young are born in a nest, located among dense vegetation and constructed out of leaves, grass and moss. During the first 2 weeks, the female is almost constantly with her young to protect them from potential predators. At about 2 months of age, young boars start coming out of the nest to feed. Independence is reached within 7 months. Male Wild boars are ready to breed at 2 years old, whereas females are reproductively mature at 1 year of age.
The population of Wild boars as a whole is not currently facing any serious threats. However, various localized concerns negatively affect populations of this species. In many parts of their range, these mammals heavily suffer from destruction of their natural habitat. They are also threatened from large-scale hunting for consumption, sport and as pests (especially near human settlements). And finally, these animals are exposed to different contagious diseases, resulting in high numbers of mortality.
According to IUCN, the wild boar is abundant and widespread throughout its range but no overall population estimate is available. As reported on the IUCN Red List, the Khentii and Khangai Mountain regions of Mongolia hold a population of 34,000 Wild boars (data of 1989). A research, conducted by the Estonian Environmental Agency, has shown that the population of this species in Estonia was over 22,500 individuals (estimated by the end of winter 2012). The ICUN classifies this species as “Least Concern”.
Wild boars are tend to affect negatively on the ecosystems. They may ruin the habitats of other animals and plants in the area. Wild boars and their young may also have influence predator populations (bobcats, coyotes, cougars), as items of prey.
Fun Facts for Kids
- Wild boars exhibit conspicuous tusks on their lower lips. Males possess noticeably longer and curved tusks as well as an additional tusk on the upper lip, with which they sharpen tusks on the lower lip.
- The snout of this mammal is elongated and elastic. Wild boar used its snout when digging out roots and bulbs.
- When fighting, these mammals typically slash at shoulders of one another, since this part of their body is covered with very thick skin and hair.
- In the past, hairs from this animal’s neck served as a material for toothbrush production, later being altered with synthetic materials.
- Despite having poorly-developed eyesight, these mammals perceive their environment through excellent senses of smell and hearing.
- Because their short legs, these animals move through snow with great difficulty. This could be the historical reason why Wild boars didn’t spread further north than the northern edge of their current range.