Swine, How they help Environment. Are they Envasive? Types of Swine

We often see pink-coloured pigs that are actually domesticated, while wild pigs are black or usually brown in appearance. The baby of a pig is called a piglet while a female is called a sow. A young pig is a boar while giant and heavier pigs (male and female) are called hogs. All species of a pig are collectively known as swine.

Feeding habit:

Swines are omnivores and they eat almost anything that is around when they are hungry. They feed on a variety of things like leftover vegetable peels, rotten fruits, dead remains of animals and their meat, fat,  bones and other things that can be thrown away in the garbage. These animals act as natural machines and convert this garbage into natural manure and fertilizers and make it available to soil and plants.

Distribution:

Swine is native to Eurasia (Asia and Europe) and Africa. There are some eighteen species excluding the nineteenth mix pink domestic breed.

Taxonomic status:

Swine belong to the family called Suidae and in scientific language, each member of this family is called Sus. Some of the animals of group are as follow:

1. Wild boar

this species Wild Boar (Sus scrofa) is widely distributed in Asia ( including Pakistan) and Europe, including some countries in Africa.  Remember that all the breeds discussed in this blog are called Old World Pigs.

The Old World is Asia, Europe and Africa. When the people came from Europe to Australia, and North and South America, they saw the new species of animals there and named them New World Animals.

(a peccary in San Diego zoo)

Swines are found neither in continental North America nor in Australia, but in South and Central America, there is an isolated genus of the same family, Peccary, which is a small pig-like animal. When the European people occupied the continent of America and Australia, they brought the European Wild Boar here and left it in the wild so it can breed and increase its population here. But now these pigs are found in millions as there is no natural predator to hunt them (lion, leopard etc)

In the US state of Texas, the state and local government organizes pig killing contests every year, and they are hunted down with the help of helicopters in the woods.

2. Domestic pigs

A domestic pig is not a natural pig.  Due to the colour of its body, it cannot hide in the environment (Camouflage).  Its DNA studies show that this particular breed was created by breeding different pigs some 10,000 years ago so that it could be eaten and cooked.  The pink colour is actually due to the lack of black pigments in his skin.   Some of these pigs have pink and black spots.  It stays pink as long as it stays at home or on the farm.  If it escapes into the forest, then only after thirty days its body colour begins to change.  Their body colour would be dark, thick hair would grow and his sharp front teeth would come out.  Now it becomes a feral, and knowns as Feral Hog or wild boar.

3. Warthog

A peculiar shovel-shaped species of pig that lives in the desert regions and dry savannah grasslands of Africa.  The name of this breed is Wart Hog.  Not only does the shape resemble a shovel, but its function is also that of a shovel i.e. digging.

The Warthog is a shy animal, but a strong fighter.  This breed also fights and chases away lions, leopards etc.  They use their shovel like faces to close their nesting tunnel to keep the babies safe.  It is quite fast in running and can run at a speed of 55 km per hour.

The swine featured in the famous movie Lion King is a Warthog that sings the famous song Hakuna Matata, a phrase from the famous African language, Swahili, which means “Stress Not!”

4. Babirusa

It is a pig-like animal belonging to the same family and is known as Babirusa.  It has long elephant-like horns growing on the nose and mouth of the male, which he uses to impress the females and show off in fights with other pigs. A pig also scares other pigs by secreting its secretions and rubbing its hair against the substrate.

The Female has a gestation period of 3.5 months and gives birth to four to twelve piglets. These piglets become mature at the age of 2 years and are ready to continue their race.

Just like elephants, pigs are influenced by family customs.  Males live alone while many females live together, with the oldest being the leader and leading the way in the forest.  Boars usually live in semi-forests, rainforests, and dry grasslands under mountain forests where there is also water or mud.  They don’t have sweat glands as humans do.  So they cover their body with mud to protect themselves from heat and insects.

5. Peccary

Another animal called the Peccary belongs to the same family but comes under a different genus.  It looks like a small pig and is also known as the New World pig and is found in Central and South America.

Swine’s nose:

Its nose has almost the same function as an elephant’s trunk. For example

1. Swine uses it as a hand.

2. The nose is attached to the strong muscles of the back of the neck and is also used as a digging organ.

3. They can lift 40 to 50 kg with the help of their nose.

4. They also sniff out food hidden underground

5. They have even been found playing video games with their noses.

6. A pig is a very intelligent animal that knows how to solve mazes.  It can even measure the quantity of food in different places with the help of its nose and move towards the place with the highest amount.

Role of swine in the environment:

1. The forest waste is consumed and converted into excellent nitrogenous fertilizer by swine.

2. It feeds on rotten fruits, vegetables, herbs, leftover meat of other animals, bones, rotten eggs, and everything to keep the environment clean.

3. At the time of pregnancy, the female makes a ground nest of leaves, plants, etc., then she uproots such small plants that are more numerous and does not disturb those that are less numerous.

4. They also provide an opportunity for new seeds to grow by digging into the soil.

5. The State of Las Vegas uses them to eat tons of waste hotel food.

Swine is an intelligent animal:

Pig is a highly intelligent animal, with an IQ recognized to be higher than that of a dog and equal to that of a human child.  Various physical games were placed in front of the pig to solve and get food.  This problem-solving intelligence serves him well in the wild and saves his species.

Piglets are very intelligent and compete fiercely with each other for milk.  Babies regularly fight each other for the milkiest nipple of mother.

How to survive a swine’s attack?

Swines rarely attack humans only if they feel threatened or by a female whose home and babies are close by.

Swine attack is very dangerous.  It constantly attacks the human thighs and legs and if  human falls, it runs over the body and starts eating it. There have been many cases in America and Europe where the owner of a home pig farm accidentally fell unconscious and was eaten by swines.

If ever a swine attacks you, try to turn to one side and ditch it. Climb a high place, tree, wall, etc. or if it attacks, hit it continuously with any nearby object and don’t let yourself fall, if you fall, it won’t leave you. It runs very fast so running away wont help.

Swine’s body has the power to fight snake venom like a few other animals.  The average lifespan of a swine is six to ten years…

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