The Giant forest hog (Hylochoerus meinertzhageni) is recognized as the largest swine species on average. While domestic pigs and wild boars have individuals that grow to immense sizes, these Giant Forest Hogs are bigger on average. They can weigh anywhere from 200 to 600 pounds, with bigger specimens standing almost 4 feet tall. The species is found throughout the forests and woodlands of Africa. They are known for their aggressive behavior, which is likely why the species was never domesticated in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Wild boars and their pig brethren can grow to gigantic proportions. Domestic pigs have the luxury of being protected from predators, as well as usually being held in confined spaces, so they often grow to greater sizes than wild boars. Wild swine are preyed on by tigers, lions, wolves, and other large carnivores, preventing most individuals from growing old enough to reach massive sizes. Even if they don’t become prey, wild boar are always moving, hunting, and foraging, which reduces their weight.

In general, feral hogs are all medium‑to‑large sized animals, with a barrel-like stout body (often with flatten sides), short and slender legs, and a relatively long, pointed head supported by a short neck.  The eyes are small.  The ears are relatively large, broad structures, which taper to a point at the tip.  Each foot has four toes, of which the lateral toes are shorter and positioned higher up the limb than the central pair.  The tail, which can vary from straight to curled, is short in length, and covered with hair, especially toward the tip.

Are Wild Boars The Largest Swine Species?

Domesticated pigs can reach larger sizes than wild boars While wild boars can grow to epic proportions, they are no match for their domesticated pig cousins. Big Bill, a hog that resided on a farm in Jackson, Tennessee, weighed in at 2,552 pounds in 1933. That’s over twice the weight of the heaviest recorded wild boars! He was set to be featured at the Chicago World Fair, but the pig unfortunately broke a leg and had to be euthanized.

How Big Are Pigs?

Pigs usually weigh between 300 and 700 lbs. (140 and 300 kilograms), but domestic pigs are often bred to be heavier. The largest pig in history was a swine called Big Bill, who stood at 5 feet (1.52m) tall and weighed an impressive 2,552 lbs (1,157 kilograms), according to Guinness World Records. 

Wild pigs on the other hand vary greatly in size and weight. The largest boar is the giant forest hog (Hylochoerus meinertzhageni). Native to more than a dozen countries across Africa, it grows up to 6.6 feet (2 meters) long and measures 3.6 feet (1.1 metres) tall, according to the Encyclopedia of Life. Though it is rarely seen, video of the elusive beast was captured in June 2018 by ecologists in Uganda, National Geographic reported..

Swine Behaviour

Pigs are very intelligent animals. According to a review published in 2015 in the International Journal of Comparative Psychology, pigs are “cognitively complex,” sharing many traits with animals that are typically considered to be highly intelligent. The review analyzed findings from a number of studies, suggesting that pigs were capable of remembering objects, perceiving time, and making use of learned information to navigate their environment. Pigs are also playful and have a wide range of play behaviors — another indication of intelligence in animals, the researchers reported.

What Do Pigs Eat?

Pigs, boars and hogs are omnivores and will eat just about anything. Wild boars, for example, fill the majority of their diet with roots, seeds, bulbs and green plants, according to the Woodland Trust, however as opportunistic feeders they will also chow down on invertebrates, carrion (decaying flesh) and even small mammals found on the forest floor. 

Domestic pigs and hogs are fed feed that is made from corn, wheat, soy or barley. On small farms, pigs are often fed “slop,” which consists of vegetable peels, fruit rinds and other leftover food items. Most species of pigs process plants in their hindguts; however, their digestion of cellulose is inefficient, requiring them to feed often, according to the Encyclopedia of Life.

What Type Of Animal Is A Wild Boar?

The wild boar (Sus scrofa) is a type of pig.

What Class Of Animal Does A Wild Boar Belong To?

The wild boar belongs to the class of mammals.

How Many Wild Boars Are There In The World?

The exact population of the wild boar or feral swine in the world is not known. However, there has been a report of there being 65 million feral swine in the United States. Their population is found across 35 states.

Where Does A Wild Boar Live?

The wild boar lives mainly in forests and grasslands.

What Is A Wild Boar’s Habitat?

The wild boar is by far the most broadly dispersed ground mammal in the world, with a natural range covering Western Europe, Japan in the east, and Indonesian rainforests to the south. The wild boar habitat includes Europe, Northern Africa, and western areas of Asia. Wild boars are also found in northern Asia and Japan. Again, they live in the coastal jungles of Southeast Asia, India, Indonesia, and the Far East areas. They are native to Europe and Asia, but are not native to America and are therefore an invasive species.

Who Do Wild Boars Live With?

Female wild boars are a natural friendly species that live in loose territorial groups called sounders, which can include a population of anything from 6 – 30 individuals. Sounders of this species are made up of reproductive females and their offsprings, and they are frequently seen in the same natural region as certain other groups, though they do not gel. Males, on the other hand, are lone for most of the year, other than during the mating season, since these animals can be observed in areas close to both sounders as well as other males.

How Long Does A Wild Boar Live?

The average wild boar or feral swine species can live up to a range of 10 – 14 years. However, a wild boar can live up to 20 years in captivity.

How Do They Reproduce?

The boars ride vast stretches of a sounder of sows until they are able to reproduce, eating nothing along the way. When a sounder is found, the male scares off all small animals and pursues the sows aggressively. At this stage, the male battles off any possible rivals with ferocity. A lone male will mate with up to ten sows at a time. Males are frequently savaged and also have dropped 20% of their weight by the conclusion of the rut. The gestation phase varies depending on the expectant mother’s age. It continues 114 – 130 days for the first breeders and 133 – 140 days for experienced sows. After the breeding season, the female wild boars give life to four to six piglets in a nest consisting of leaves, trees, and shrubs, and moss-covered in a deep thicket. To shield her piglets from aggressive predators, the females stay with them during the first few weeks after breeding. Wild boar piglets feature light brown hair and white and brown streaks running the entirety of their tails, making them very distinct species. While these stripes fade between three to four years.

What Is Their Conservation Status?

The IUCN has classified the wild boar as a mammal with a low risk of being extinct in its natural habitat in the immediate future, that is ‘Least Concern’. However, total population levels are decreasing, owing to poaching or hunting, and habitat destruction of their groups across continents including Europe.

What Do Wild Boars Look Like?

The wild boar is a standard size animal with a huge wild boar skull and forward half and a narrower rear end. Wild boars have a dual layer of fur that is dense and gritty, with a tougher, stubbly upper layer and a lighter undercoat. The fur on the back of a wild boar that runs around the ridge is often longer than the remainder.

How Cute Are They?

Wild boars are cute in appearance. The wild boar has a snout that makes the animals look cute. Their physical build coupled with the walk of the wild boar gives it a cute appearance.

How Do They Communicate?

Wild boars use a series of grunts, creaks, and chirrups to communicate with one another. They grunt quite a bit as they chew, and a loud grunt acts as a warning signal to other animals or groups.

How Big Is A Wild Boar?

The wild boar size stands 21.6 in – 39.3 in (55 cm – 100 cm) tall. It is almost the same size as a regular pig.

How Fast Can A Wild Boar Run?

The wild boar (Sus scrofa), or the feral swine, can reach speeds of up to 30 mph. They go out of pig cages with barriers five to six feet thick and can leap over obstacles just under three feet high. Since the wild boar can crowd up in the corner and actually crawl over each other, the corner provides enough leverage for them to go over the top. Hence traps with 90-degree corners must be covered on the top. This holds true for domestic pigs as well.

How Much Does A Wild Boar Weigh?

The average Sus scrofa or wild pig weighs around 176 lb – 386 lb (80 kg – 175 kg). However, the largest wild boar is a 600 lb (272 kg) giant wild boar.

What Do They Eat?

The feral swine is an omnivorous mammal that eats many vegetables. Plant matter accounts for about 90% of the diet of wild boar diet as they consume young leaves, seeds, grasses, and vegetables, as well as digging up roots and buds with their strong snouts. The wild boar or feral swine have had to adjust to varying flowers and plants because they live in extremely seasonal environments, and they are reported to choose the nuts which are rich in protein (like acorns) that are accessible in the fall to help the feral swine prepare for the winter ahead. Wild boars will, though, eat about everything that will pass into their mouths, as well as eggs, rodents, lizards, insects, as well as snakes, to complement their diet.

Are They Dangerous?

Wild boars are harmful not only for their ferocity, but mostly because wild boars carry diseases like measles, Influenza A, and Hepatitis E, which can be transmitted to humans. Wild boar attacks also cause tens of thousands of traffic crashes each year, many of which result in significant injury to drivers. Thus, a wild boar or a wild pig can kill or harms humans.

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