Animals & Wildlife Magazine

Featured Animal: Pig

By Azanimals @azanimals
Pig The pig was allegedly domesticated as early as 9,000 BC from the wild boar, which is found in the forests of Asia and Europe. The pig was used for meat, leather and the pig hair was often used to make brushes.

Pig The domestic pig is farmed by the million around the world and produces a surprising amount of meat, with bacon, sausages, ham and chops all coming from the same animal (much to the disbelief of Homer Simpson)!

The domestic pig is often kept as a pet in homes with large gardens as well as on farms. The pig is a quiet and relatively clean animal when kept in the right conditions.

Pigs are known to be even-toes ungulates which is a term that refers to a hoofed animal whose weight is spread evenly by more than one toe. Pigs are also known as hogs and swine.

Many species of pig have tusks although today this is not really the case as selective breeding has ensured that many species of domestic pig no longer do. Those species of pig that have their tusks, use them to dig up roots in the ground and sometimes for depending themselves against predators.

A pig has a snout for a nose, small eyes, and a small tail, which may be curly, kinked, or straight. It has a thick body, short legs, and coarse hair. There are four toes on each foot, with the two large middle toes used by the pig for walking.

Pigs are omnivores meaning that they eat both plants and animals. Pigs are scavengers by nature and will eat nearly anything that they come across from plants and fruit to dead insects and tree bark. In the wild, pigs tend to look for berries and shoots as these contain lots of nutrients and are important for a healthy pig.

Pig Foot Facts

  • Pigs have four feet that are known as trotters that are eaten as a delicacy in some parts of the world.
  • The pig has four toes on each foot that are pointed downwards as the pig walks on the tips of its toes rather than its whole foot.
  • Despite the fact that the pig has four toes, it only actually walks on two of its toes as the outer toes as used for balance and will rarely touch the ground.
  • The four toes of the pig end in hooves to enable the pig to have tougher feet when walking or running on harder ground.
  • The middle two toes of the pig that it walks on are often slightly webbed to give the pig more balance and stability when running and walking on muddy ground.

Pig Teeth Facts

  • Some species of pig, such as wild pigs, have tusks and large front teeth that the pig uses for defending itself and for digging roots out of the ground.
  • Baby pigs have 28 teeth which fall out when the piglet is around 12 months old and are replaced with the stronger 44 teeth that adult pigs have.
  • All pigs have tusk teeth which are their sharper canine teeth and the pigs use these teeth for digging but must grind them down on harder objects so that they do not get too long.
  • Much like human teeth, the teeth of the pig have an enamel coating which makes the teeth of the pig stronger and less exposed to disease.
  • Pigs are one of the few wild animals that properly chew their food as pigs have a digestive system that is similar to that of the human and therefore cannot digest un-chewed food easily.

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