Pigs are ungulates native to Eurasia collectively grouped under the genus Sus within the Suidae family. They have been domesticated and raised as livestock by some peoples for meat (called pork) as well as for leather. more...
Their bristly hairs are also traditionally used for brushes. Wild pigs continue to fill these functions in certain parts of the world.
Pigs are omnivores, which means that they consume both plants and animals. On a small farm, or in a large household, they can be fed kitchen scraps as part or all of their diet. In the wild, they are foraging animals. Pigs that are allowed to forage may be watched by swineherds. Because of their foraging abilities and excellent sense of smell, they are used to find truffles in many European countries. They are also fattened to be eaten as ham and other types of meat, such as bacon.
Pigs are one of the most intelligent mammals, and some, such as the Asian pot-bellied pig, are kept as pets. Pigs are reportedly more intelligent and more trainable than dogs and cats.
A litter of piglets typically contains between 6 and 12 animals. Occasionally, in captivity, pigs may eat their own young.
Pigs lack sweat glands. Thus they must have access to water or mud to cool themselves during hot weather. They also use mud as a form of sunscreen to protect their skin from sunburn.
- Sus barbatus Bearded Pig; Malaysia, Indonesia
- Sus bucculentus Vietnamese Warty Pig
- Sus cebifrons Visayas Warty Pig
- Sus celebensis Celebes Warty Pig
- Sus heureni Flores Warty Pig
- Sus philippensis Philippine Warty Pig
- Sus salvanius Pigmy Hog; NE India, Himalayas
- Sus scrofa (also called S. domesticus) Domestic pig , wild boar; Europe, Asia
- Sus timoriensis Timor Warty Pig
- Sus verrucosus Javan pig, Warty Pig; Indonesia, Philippines
Domestic Tamworth pigs are often crossed with wild boar to create "Iron Age Pigs" that resemble early domestic pigs. The piglets have stripes or blotches like young boar. "Iron Age Pigs" are a common attraction at farm parks. The hybrids are tamer than wild boar, but less tractable than domestic swine and generally become specialist pork sausages. Other domestic breeds of pig have been crossed with wild boar to produce a leaner meat for the specialist meat trade.
Various domestic pigs have been crossed with American wild hogs to produce compact, hairy hog-like hybrids.
In "The Variation Of Animals And Plants Under Domestication" Charles Darwin wrote: The European wild boar and the Chinese domesticated pig are almost certainly specifically distinct: Sir F. Darwin crossed a sow of the latter breed with a wild Alpine boar which had become extremely tame, but the young, though having half-domesticated blood in their veins, were "extremely wild in confinement, and would not eat swill like common English pigs."
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