A face only a mother could love is perhaps not far removed from the truth. Warthog – Phacochoerus aethiopicus Pallas, 1766) – even it’s Latin name is not all that attractive. Yet there is some beauty in the beast by virtue of their entertaining antics especially the young piglets. These animals, belonging to the order Artiodactyla and the family of pigs, Suidae, are widespread in Africa.
They are diurnal (active in the day) and as the images show retire into abandoned ant-bear holes at night. They reverse tail end into the holes and come out sharp end first. Something that is wise to remember – never stand directly in front of a hole. Should the warthog decide to exit it will be at speed and the razor sharp tusks can inflict a serious wound. The boars (males) are slightly heavier than the females and weigh about, on average, 80kg (176 pounds), as opposed to the average weight of 74kg (163 pounds) in sows (females). Big males can however weigh as much as 100kg (220 pounds).
The distinguishing feature in appearance is however the number or facial wart-like protuberances. Boars have two pairs of warts – a large pair (up to 12cm or 4.7 inches long) below the eyes on the sides of the face and a much smaller pair on the cheeks. Females have only a single small pair (about 3cm in length – about 1.2 inches) under the eyes on the sides of the face. The warthog gets it’s name from these skin outgrowths which are not really warts at all. Excepting for all boars warthog are gregarious animals moving in small groups referred to as “sounders”.