Warthog

Warthog

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  • Information
  • Conservation
  • Lifestyle

Description

Common warthogs have prominent warts on their face as their name suggests. These warts are cartilaginous and protect the face and eyes during fights and can grow up to 6 in (15 cm) in length in males. Additionally, they have large upper tusks that are 10-24 in (25-60 cm) long in males and 6-10 in (15-25 cm) long in females. The tusks are used by males to fight for females and for protection in both sexes. Warthogs have gray skin sparsely covered with long coarse hair and shorter bristles. They have long tails that end with a tuft of hair, when running the tail is usually held straight up. Warthogs lack subcutaneous fat making them susceptible to extreme environmental temperatures.

Classification

Class
Mammalia
Order
Cetartiodactyla
Family
Suidae
Genus
Phacochoerus
Species
P. africanus
Conservation Status
Least Concern

Key Facts

Height
3-5 ft (~90-150 cm)
Weight
110-330 lb (~50-150 kg)

The IUCN Red List describes Phacochoerus africanus as a species of Least Concern with a widespread, abundant population and no major threats.

Social Life
Warthogs form family groups of up to 20 individuals called sounders that usually consist of females and their young. Juvenile males will remain in the sounder until about 2 years of age and will then disperse to form bachelor herds and become solitary as mature adults. They are primarily active during the day and go in burrows at night. Their burrows are often aardvark holes that the warthog will back into in order to be able to exit quickly if threatened.

Habitat and Range
Warthogs are found in savanna, bushland, woodland and semi-deserts in sub-Saharan Africa. There are four sub-species that are found in west, east and southern Africa. They need areas to cool-off and wallow in order to cope with high temperatures, and thus prefer to remain near water.

Diet
Warthogs are primarily grazers eating a variety of grasses but also feed on roots, bulbs, tubers, rhizomes, berries, bark, insects, eggs, and carrion. When grazing they prefer short grasses and lower themselves to the ground on their wrist joints. They use their snouts and tusks to root up earth looking for roots and bulbs.

Lifespan
The average lifespan of a wild warthog is 7-10 years with some documentation of survival up to 18 years. In captivity they have been known to reach 20 years of age. Juvenile mortality rate is high due to extreme temperatures and predation.

Predators
Main predators of warthogs include lions, leopards, cheetahs, crocodiles and hyenas.  They avoid nocturnal predators by being active during the day and sheltering in burrows at night. They are fast runners that can reach 35 mph (56 kph) and usually avoid attack by fleeing.

Reproduction
Sexual maturity: Male: 18-20 months, Female: 18-20 months
Mating Season: Peaks 4-5 months after the last rain
Birth Season:    Climate dependent
Gestation:          170-175 days
No. of Young:     1-7

Information

Description

Common warthogs have prominent warts on their face as their name suggests. These warts are cartilaginous and protect the face and eyes during fights and can grow up to 6 in (15 cm) in length in males. Additionally, they have large upper tusks that are 10-24 in (25-60 cm) long in males and 6-10 in (15-25 cm) long in females. The tusks are used by males to fight for females and for protection in both sexes. Warthogs have gray skin sparsely covered with long coarse hair and shorter bristles. They have long tails that end with a tuft of hair, when running the tail is usually held straight up. Warthogs lack subcutaneous fat making them susceptible to extreme environmental temperatures.

Classification

Class
Mammalia
Order
Cetartiodactyla
Family
Suidae
Genus
Phacochoerus
Species
P. africanus
Conservation Status
Least Concern

Key Facts

Height
3-5 ft (~90-150 cm)
Weight
110-330 lb (~50-150 kg)
Conservation

The IUCN Red List describes Phacochoerus africanus as a species of Least Concern with a widespread, abundant population and no major threats.

Lifestyle

Social Life
Warthogs form family groups of up to 20 individuals called sounders that usually consist of females and their young. Juvenile males will remain in the sounder until about 2 years of age and will then disperse to form bachelor herds and become solitary as mature adults. They are primarily active during the day and go in burrows at night. Their burrows are often aardvark holes that the warthog will back into in order to be able to exit quickly if threatened.

Habitat and Range
Warthogs are found in savanna, bushland, woodland and semi-deserts in sub-Saharan Africa. There are four sub-species that are found in west, east and southern Africa. They need areas to cool-off and wallow in order to cope with high temperatures, and thus prefer to remain near water.

Diet
Warthogs are primarily grazers eating a variety of grasses but also feed on roots, bulbs, tubers, rhizomes, berries, bark, insects, eggs, and carrion. When grazing they prefer short grasses and lower themselves to the ground on their wrist joints. They use their snouts and tusks to root up earth looking for roots and bulbs.

Lifespan
The average lifespan of a wild warthog is 7-10 years with some documentation of survival up to 18 years. In captivity they have been known to reach 20 years of age. Juvenile mortality rate is high due to extreme temperatures and predation.

Predators
Main predators of warthogs include lions, leopards, cheetahs, crocodiles and hyenas.  They avoid nocturnal predators by being active during the day and sheltering in burrows at night. They are fast runners that can reach 35 mph (56 kph) and usually avoid attack by fleeing.

Reproduction
Sexual maturity: Male: 18-20 months, Female: 18-20 months
Mating Season: Peaks 4-5 months after the last rain
Birth Season:    Climate dependent
Gestation:          170-175 days
No. of Young:     1-7

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Warthog