A pig is any of the animals in the genus Sus, within the even-toed ungulate family Suidae. Pigs include the domestic pig and its ancestor, the common Eurasian wild boar (Sus scrofa), along with other species. Related creatures outside the genus include the peccary, the babirusa, and the warthog. Pigs, like all suids, are native to the Eurasian and African continents. Juvenile pigs are known as piglets. Pigs are highly social and intelligent animals.
With around 1 billion individuals alive at any time, the domestic pig is among the most populous large mammals in the world. Pigs are omnivores and can consume a wide range of food. Biologically, pigs are very similar to humans, thus are frequently used for human medical research.
Temporal range: Early Pleistocene to recent
|Bornean bearded pig at the London Zoo.|
The Online Etymology Dictionary provides anecdotal evidence as well as linguistic, saying that the term derives
probably from Old English *picg, found in compounds, ultimate origin unknown. Originally "young pig" (the word for adults was swine). Apparently related to Low German bigge, Dutch big ("but the phonology is difficult" -- OED). ... Another Old English word for "pig" was fearh, related to furh "furrow," from PIE *perk- "dig, furrow" (source also of Latin porc-us "pig," see pork). "This reflects a widespread IE tendency to name animals from typical attributes or activities" [Roger Lass]. Synonyms grunter, oinker are from sailors' and fishermen's euphemistic avoidance of uttering the word pig at sea, a superstition perhaps based on the fate of the Gadarene swine, who drowned.
The Online Etymology Dictionary also traces the evolution of sow, the term for a female pig, through various historical languages:
Old English sugu, su "female of the swine," from Proto-Germanic *su- (cognates: Old Saxon, Old High German su, German Sau, Dutch zeug, Old Norse syr), from PIE root *su- (cognates: Sanskrit sukarah "wild boar, swine;" Avestan hu "wild boar;" Greek hys "swine;" Latin sus "swine", suinus "pertaining to swine"; Old Church Slavonic svinija "swine;" Lettish sivens "young pig;" Welsh hucc, Irish suig "swine; Old Irish socc "snout, plowshare"), possibly imitative of pig noise; note that Sanskrit sukharah means "maker of (the sound) su.
It is entirely likely that the word to call pigs, "soo-ie," is similarly derived.
A typical pig has a large head with a long snout that is strengthened by a special prenasal bone and by a disk of cartilage at the tip. The snout is used to dig into the soil to find food and is a very acute sense organ. There are four hoofed toes on each foot, with the two larger central toes bearing most of the weight, but the outer two also being used in soft ground.
The dental formula of adult pigs is 188.8.131.52, giving a total of 44 teeth. The rear teeth are adapted for crushing. In the male, the canine teeth form tusks, which grow continuously and are sharpened by constantly being ground against each other.
Occasionally, captive mother pigs may savage their own piglets, often if they become severely stressed. Some attacks on newborn piglets are non-fatal. Others may cause the death of the piglets and sometimes, the mother may eat the piglets. It is estimated that 50% of piglet fatalities are due to the mother attacking, or unintentionally crushing, the newborn pre-weaned animals.
The ancestor of the domestic pig is the wild boar, which is one of the most numerous and widespread large mammals. Its many subspecies are native to all but the harshest climates of continental Eurasia and its islands and Africa as well, from Ireland and India to Japan and north to Siberia.
Long isolated from other pigs on the many islands of Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines, pigs have evolved into many different species, including wild boar, bearded pigs, and warty pigs. Humans have introduced pigs into Australia, North and South America, and numerous islands, either accidentally as escaped domestic pigs which have gone feral, or as wild boar.
The wild pig (Sus scrofa) can take advantage of any forage resources. Therefore, it can live in virtually any productive habitat that can provide enough water to sustain large mammals such as pigs. If there is increased foraging of wild pigs in certain areas, it can cause a nutritional shortage which can cause the pig population to decrease. If the nutritional state returns to normal, the pig population will most likely rise due to the pigs' naturally increased reproduction rate.
Pigs are omnivores, which means that they consume both plants and animals. In the wild, they are foraging animals, primarily eating leaves, roots, fruits, and flowers, in addition to some insects and fish. As livestock, pigs are fed mostly corn and soybean meal with a mixture of vitamins and minerals added to the diet. Traditionally, they were raised on dairy farms and called "mortgage lifters", due to their ability to use the excess milk as well as whey from cheese and butter making combined with pasture. Older pigs will consume three to five gallons of water per day. When kept as pets, the optimal healthy diet consists mainly of a balanced diet of raw vegetables, although some may give their pigs conventional mini pig pellet feed.
Domesticated pigs, especially miniature breeds, are commonly kept as pets. Domestic pigs are raised commercially as livestock; materials that are garnered include their meat (known as pork), leather, and their bristly hairs which are used to make brushes. Because of their foraging abilities and excellent sense of smell, they are used to find truffles in many European countries. Both wild and feral pigs are commonly hunted.
The relatively short, stiff, coarse hairs of the pig are called bristles, and were once so commonly used in paintbrushes that in 1946 the Australian Government launched Operation Pig Bristle. In May 1946, in response to a shortage of pig bristles for paintbrushes to paint houses in the post-World War II construction boom, the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) flew in 28 short tons of pig bristles from China, their only commercially available source at the time.
Human skin is very similar to pig skin, therefore pig skin has been used in many preclinical studies. In addition to providing use in biomedical research and for drug testing, genetic advances in human healthcare have provided a pathway for domestic pigs to become xenotransplantation candidates for humans.
Pigs have been domesticated since ancient times in the Old World. Archaeological evidence suggests that pigs were being managed in the wild in a way similar to the way they are managed by some modern New Guineans from wild boar as early as 13,000–12,700 BP in the Near East in the Tigris Basin, Çayönü, Cafer Höyük, Nevalı Çori. Remains of pigs have been dated to earlier than 11,400 BP in Cyprus that must have been introduced from the mainland which suggests domestication in the adjacent mainland by then. A separate domestication also occurred in China.
In India, pigs have been domesticated for a long time mostly in Goa and some rural areas for pig toilets. This was also done in China. Though ecologically logical as well as economical, pig toilets are waning in popularity as use of septic tanks and/or sewerage systems is increasing in rural areas.
Pigs were brought to southeastern North America from Europe by Hernando de Soto and other early Spanish explorers. Pigs are particularly valued in China and on certain oceanic islands, where their self-sufficiency allows them to be turned loose, although the practice is not without its drawbacks (see environmental impact).
The domestic pig (Sus scrofa domesticus) is usually given the scientific name Sus scrofa, although some taxonomists call it S. domesticus, reserving S. scrofa for the wild boar. It was domesticated approximately 5,000 to 7,000 years ago. The upper canines form sharp distinctive tusks that curve outward and upward. Compared to other artiodactyles, their head is relatively long, pointed, and free of warts. Their head and body length ranges from 0.9 to 1.8 m (35 to 71 in) and they can weigh between 50 and 350 kg (110 and 770 lb).
In November 2012, scientists managed to sequence the genome of the domestic pig. The similarities between the pig and human genomes mean that the new data may have wide applications in the study and treatment of human genetic diseases.
In August 2015, a study looked at over 100 pig genome sequences to ascertain their process of domestication. The process of domestication was assumed to have been initiated by humans, involved few individuals and relied on reproductive isolation between wild and domestic forms. The study found that the assumption of reproductive isolation with population bottlenecks was not supported. The study indicated that pigs were domesticated separately in Western Asia and China, with Western Asian pigs introduced into Europe where they crossed with wild boar. A model that fitted the data included admixture with a now extinct ghost population of wild pigs during the Pleistocene. The study also found that despite back-crossing with wild pigs, the genomes of domestic pigs have strong signatures of selection at DNA loci that affect behavior and morphology. The study concluded that human selection for domestic traits likely counteracted the homogenizing effect of gene flow from wild boars and created domestication islands in the genome. The same process may also apply to other domesticated animals. 
Pigs appear in the traditional and popular arts, media, and cultures of many societies, where they sometimes carry religious symbolism. In Asia the wild boar is one of 12 animal images comprising the Chinese zodiac, while in Europe the boar represents a standard charge in heraldry. In Islam and Judaism pigs and those who handle them are viewed negatively, and the consumption of pork is forbidden. Epicureans consider the pig as an official mascot or totem, and bronze sculptures of pigs have been found in the Epicurean library at Herculaneum. Pigs are frequently alluded to in folk art, idioms, metaphors, and proverbs, and also occasionally in parables (e.g. Parable of the Prodigal Son).
Domestic pigs that have escaped from urban areas or were allowed to forage in the wild, and in some cases wild boars which were introduced as prey for hunting, have given rise to large populations of feral pigs in North and South America, Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii, and other areas where pigs are not native. Accidental or deliberate releases of pigs into countries or environments where they are an alien species have caused extensive environmental change. Their omnivorous diet, aggressive behaviour, and their feeding method of rooting in the ground all combine to severely alter ecosystems unused to pigs. Pigs will even eat small animals and destroy nests of ground nesting birds. The Invasive Species Specialist Group lists feral pigs on the list of the world's 100 worst invasive species and says:
Feral pigs like other introduced mammals are major drivers of extinction and ecosystem change. They have been introduced into many parts of the world, and will damage crops and home gardens as well as potentially spreading disease. They uproot large areas of land, eliminating native vegetation and spreading weeds. This results in habitat alteration, a change in plant succession and composition and a decrease in native fauna dependent on the original habitat.
Because of the biological similarities between each other, pigs can harbour a range of parasites and diseases that can be transmitted to humans. These include trichinosis, Taenia solium, cysticercosis, and brucellosis. Pigs are also known to host large concentrations of parasitic ascarid worms in their digestive tract.
pig skin has been shown to be the most similar to human skin. Pig skin is structurally similar to human epidermal thickness and dermal-epidermal thickness ratios. Pigs and humans have similar hair follicle and blood vessel patterns in the skin. Biochemically pigs contain dermal collagen and elastic content that is more similar to humans than other laboratory animals. Finally pigs have similar physical and molecular responses to various growth factors.
Pig skin is anatomically, physiologically, biochemically and immunologically similar to human skin
Babe is a 1995 Australian-American comedy-drama film directed by Chris Noonan, produced by George Miller, and written by both. It is an adaptation of Dick King-Smith's 1983 novel The Sheep-Pig, also known as Babe: The Gallant Pig in the US, which tells the story of a pig raised as livestock who wants to do the work of a sheepdog. The main animal characters are played by a combination of real and animatronic pigs and Border Collies.After seven years of development, Babe was filmed in Robertson, New South Wales, Australia. The talking-animal visual effects were done by Rhythm & Hues Studios and Jim Henson's Creature Shop. The film was both a box office and critical success, and in 1998 Miller went on to direct a sequel, Babe: Pig in the City.Chauvinism
Chauvinism is a form of extreme patriotism and nationalism and a belief in national superiority and glory. It can be also defined as "an irrational belief in the superiority or dominance of one's own group or people". Moreover, the chauvinist's own people are seen as unique and special while the rest of the people are considered weak or inferior.According to legend, French soldier Nicolas Chauvin was badly wounded in the Napoleonic wars. He received a pension for his injuries but it was not enough to live on. After Napoleon abdicated, Chauvin was a fanatical Bonapartist despite the unpopularity of this view in Bourbon Restoration France. His single-minded blind devotion to his cause, despite neglect by his faction and harassment by its enemies, started the use of the term.Chauvinism has extended from its original use to include fanatical devotion and undue partiality to any group or cause to which one belongs, especially when such partisanship includes prejudice against or hostility toward outsiders or rival groups and persists even in the face of overwhelming opposition. This French quality finds its parallel in the British term jingoism, which has retained the meaning of chauvinism strictly in its original sense; that is, an attitude of belligerent nationalism.In modern English, the word has come to be used in some quarters as shorthand for male chauvinism, a trend reflected in Merriam-Webster's Dictionary, which, as of 2018, begins its first example of use of the term chauvinism with "an attitude of superiority toward members of the opposite sex".Domestic pig
The domestic pig (Sus scrofa domesticus or only Sus domesticus), often called swine, hog, or simply pig when there is no need to distinguish it from other pigs, is a domesticated large, even-toed ungulate. It is variously considered a subspecies of the wild boar or a distinct species. The domestic pig's head-plus-body-length ranges from 0.9 to 1.8 m (35 to 71 in), and adult pigs typically weigh between 50 and 350 kg (110 and 770 lb), with well-fed individuals often exceeding this weight range. The size and weight of a hog largely depends on its breed. Compared to other artiodactyls, its head is relatively long, pointed, and free of warts. Even-toed ungulates are generally herbivorous, but the domestic pig is an omnivore, like its wild relative.
When used as livestock, domestic pigs are farmed primarily for the consumption of their flesh, called pork. The animal's bones, hide, and bristles are also used in commercial products. Domestic pigs, especially miniature breeds, are kept as pets.Feral pig
The feral pig (from Latin fera, "a wild beast") is a pig (Sus scrofa) living in the wild, but which has descended from escaped domesticated individuals in both the Old and New Worlds. Razorback and wild hog are American colloquialisms, loosely applied to any type of feral domestic pig, wild boar, or hybrid in North America; pure wild boar are sometimes called "Russian boar" or "Russian razorbacks". The term "razorback" has also appeared in Australia, to describe feral pigs there.Guinea pig
The guinea pig or domestic guinea pig (Cavia porcellus), also known as cavy or domestic cavy, is a species of rodent belonging to the family Caviidae and the genus Cavia. Despite their common name, these animals are not in the pig family Suidae, nor do they come from Guinea in Africa, and the origin of their name is still unclear; they originated in the Andes of South America and studies based on biochemistry and hybridization suggest they are domesticated descendants of a closely related species of cavy such as C. tschudii, and therefore do not exist naturally in the wild.In Western society, the domestic guinea pig has enjoyed widespread popularity as a household pet, a type of pocket pet, since its introduction by European traders in the 16th century. Their docile nature; friendly, even affectionate, responsiveness to handling and feeding; and the relative ease of caring for them have made and continue to make guinea pigs a popular choice of pet. Organizations devoted to the competitive breeding of guinea pigs have been formed worldwide, and many specialized breeds with varying coat colors and textures are selected by breeders.
The domestic guinea pig plays an important role in folk culture for many indigenous Andean groups, especially as a food source, but also in folk medicine and in community religious ceremonies. The animals are used for meat and are a culinary staple in the Andes Mountains, where they are known as cuy. A modern breeding program was started in the 1960s in Peru that resulted in large breeds known as cuy mejorados (improved cuy) and prompted efforts to increase consumption of the animal outside South America.Biological experimentation on domestic guinea pigs has been carried out since the 17th century. The animals were so frequently used as model organisms in the 19th and 20th centuries that the epithet guinea pig came into use to describe a human test subject. Since that time, they have been largely replaced by other rodents such as mice and rats. However, they are still used in research, primarily as models for human medical conditions such as juvenile diabetes, tuberculosis, scurvy (like humans, they must get vitamin C), and pregnancy complications.List of guinea pig breeds
There are many breeds of guinea pig or cavy which have been developed since its domestication ca. 5000 BC. Breeds vary widely in appearance and purpose, ranging from show breeds with long, flowing hair to those in use as model organisms by science. From ca. 1200 AD to the Spanish conquest of the Inca Empire in 1532, selective breeding by indigenous South American people resulted in many landrace varieties of domestic guinea pigs, which form the basis for some of the modern, formal breeds. Early Andean varieties were primarily kept as agricultural stock for food, and efforts at improving the guinea pig as a food source continue to the modern era.
With the export of guinea pigs to Europe in the 15th century, the goal in breeding shifted to focus on the development of appealing pets. To this end, various competitive breeding organizations were founded by fanciers. The American Cavy Breeders Association, an adjunct to the American Rabbit Breeders Association, is the governing body in the United States and Canada. The British Cavy Council governs cavy clubs in the United Kingdom. Similar organizations exist in Australia (Australian National Cavy Council) and New Zealand (New Zealaland Cavy Council) Each club publishes its own Standard of Perfection and determines which breeds are eligible for showing. New breeds continue to emerge in the 21st century.
Though there are many breeds of guinea pig, only a few breeds are commonly found on the show table as pets. Most guinea pigs found as pets were either found undesirable by breeders or were bred to be pleasant pets regardless of how well they meet the breed standard of perfection. The English/American Short-haired, the Abyssinian (rough-coated), the Peruvian (long-coated), and the Sheltie (also known as Silkie, long-coated) breeds are those most frequently seen as pets, and the former three are the core breeds in the history of the competitive showing of guinea pigs. In addition to their standard form, nearly all breeds come in a Satin variant. Satins, due to their hollow hair shafts, possess coats of a special gloss and shine. However, there is growing evidence that the genes responsible for the satin coat also can cause severe bone problems, including osteodystrophy and Paget's disease. Showing satin variations is prohibited by some cavy breeders' associations because of animal welfare reasons.
All cavy breeds have some shared general standards: the head profile should be rounded, with large eyes and large, smooth ears. The body should be strong and of compact build. Coat colour should in all variations be clearly defined and thorough from root to tip. These standards are best met by long established, commonly bred breeds, as their breeders have had enough time and animals to effectively breed for these qualities. The coat colour ideal of good definition and thoroughness is rarely met by other than the smooth-coated breeds, which have had well established, separate breeding lines for different colours.Peccary
A peccary (also javelina or skunk pig) is a medium-sized pig-like hoofed mammal of the family Tayassuidae (New World pigs). They are found throughout Central and South America and in the southwestern area of North America. Peccaries usually measure between 90 and 130 cm (3.0 and 4.3 ft) in length, and a full-grown adult usually weighs about 20 to 40 kg (44 to 88 lb).
Peccaries, native to the Americas, are often confused with the pig family that originated in Afro-Eurasia, since some domestic pigs brought by European settlers have escaped over the years and now feral "razorback" hogs in many parts of the US.In many countries, especially in the developing world, they are kept as pets, in addition to being raised on farms as a source of food.Peppa Pig
Peppa Pig is a British preschool animated television series directed and produced by Astley Baker Davies in association with Entertainment One, which originally aired on 31 May 2004.
The series is shown in 180 territories including the US and UK.Pig (zodiac)
The Pig (豬) is the twelfth of the 12-year cycle of animals which appear in the Chinese zodiac related to the Chinese calendar. In the continuous sexagenary cycle, every twelfth year corresponds to hai, and is commonly called the Year of the Pig 豬. There are five types of Pigs, named after the Chinese elements. In order, they are: Metal, Water, Wood, Fire, and Earth.
In the Japanese zodiac and the Tibetan zodiac, the Pig is replaced by the boar. In the Dai zodiac, the Pig is replaced by the elephant. In the Gurung zodiac, the Pig is replaced by the deer.Pig Latin
Pig Latin is a language game in which words in English are altered, usually by adding a fabricated suffix or by moving the onset or initial consonant or consonant cluster of a word to the end of the word and adding a vocalic syllable to create such a suffix. For example, Wikipedia would become Ikipediaway (taking the 'W' and 'ay' to create a suffix). The objective is to conceal the words from others not familiar with the rules. The reference to Latin is a deliberate misnomer; Pig Latin is simply a form of argot or jargon unrelated to Latin, and the name is used for its English connotations as a strange and foreign-sounding language. It is most often used by young children as a fun way to confuse people unfamiliar with Pig Latin.Pig iron
Pig iron is an intermediate product of the iron industry, also known as crude iron, which is first obtained from a smelting furnace in the form of oblong blocks. Pig iron has a very high carbon content, typically 3.8–4.7%, along with silica and other constituents of dross, which makes it very brittle and not useful directly as a material except for limited applications. Pig iron is made by smelting iron ore into a transportable ingot of impure high carbon-content iron in a blast furnace as an ingredient for further processing steps. The traditional shape of the molds used for pig iron ingots was a branching structure formed in sand, with many individual ingots at right angles to a central channel or runner, resembling a litter of piglets being suckled by a sow. When the metal had cooled and hardened, the smaller ingots (the pigs) were simply broken from the runner (the sow), hence the name pig iron. As pig iron is intended for remelting, the uneven size of the ingots and the inclusion of small amounts of sand caused only insignificant problems considering the ease of casting and handling them.Pig roast
A pig roast or hog roast is an event or gathering which involves the barbecuing of a whole pig. Pig roasts in the mainland Deep South of the United States are often referred to as a pig pickin', although roasts are also a common occurrence in the Philippines, Puerto Rico and Cuba as well as the non-mainland US state of Hawaii (a luau), with roasts being done in the mainland states by descendants of other areas. A pig roast is traditional meal in Serbia and Montenegro, often prepared for celebration events and family fests, and it can be usually found on the menu of traditional taverns and bars - kafana.Pork
Pork is the culinary name for meat from a domestic pig (Sus scrofa domesticus). It is the most commonly consumed meat worldwide, with evidence of pig husbandry dating back to 5000 BC.
Pork is eaten both freshly cooked and preserved. Curing extends the shelf life of the pork products. Ham, smoked pork, gammon, bacon and sausage are examples of preserved pork. Charcuterie is the branch of cooking devoted to prepared meat products, many from pork.
Pork is the most popular meat in Eastern and Southeastern Asia, and is also very common in the Western world, especially in Central Europe. It is highly prized in Asian cuisines for its fat content and pleasant texture. Consumption of pork is forbidden by Jewish, Muslim, and Rastafarian dietary law, for religious reasons, with several suggested possible causes.Porky Pig
Porky Pig is an animated cartoon character in the Warner Bros. Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies series of cartoons. He was the first character created by the studio to draw audiences based on his star power, and the animators created many critically acclaimed shorts featuring the character. Even after he was supplanted by later characters, Porky continued to be popular with moviegoers and, more importantly, the Warners directors, who recast him in numerous everyman and sidekick roles.
He is known for his signature line at the end of many shorts, "Th-th-th-that's all folks!" This slogan (without stuttering) had also been used by both Bosko and Buddy and even Beans at the end of Looney Tunes cartoons. In contrast, the Merrie Melodies series used the slogan: So Long, Folks! until the mid 1930s when it was replaced with the same one used on the Looney Tunes series (when Bugs Bunny was the closing character, he would break the pattern by simply saying, in his Brooklynese accent, "And Dat's De End!"). He is the oldest continuing Looney Tunes character.
Porky's most distinctive trait is a severe stutter, for which he sometimes compensates by replacing his words; for example, "What's going on?" might become "What's guh-guh-guh-guh—...what's happening?" Porky's age varied widely in the series; originally conceived as an innocent seven-year-old piglet (explicitly mentioned as such in Porky's Preview), Porky was more frequently cast as an adult, often being cast as the competent straight man in the series in later years. In the ending of many Looney Tunes cartoons, Porky Pig bursts through a bass drum head, and his attempt to close the show with "The End" becomes "Th-Th-The, Th-Th-The, Th-Th... That's all, folks!" Porky Pig would appear in 153 cartoons in the Golden age of American animation.Speakeasy
A speakeasy, also called a blind pig or blind tiger, is an illicit establishment that sells alcoholic beverages. Such establishments came into prominence in the United States during the Prohibition era (1920–1933, longer in some states). During that time, the sale, manufacture, and transportation (bootlegging) of alcoholic beverages was illegal throughout the United States. Speakeasies largely disappeared after Prohibition was ended in 1933, and the term is now often inaccurately used to describe some retro style bars.Spider-Ham
Spider-Ham (Peter Porker) is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. The character is an anthropomorphic funny animal parody of Spider-Man, and was created by Tom DeFalco and Mark Armstrong.
He first appeared in the one-shot humor comic book Marvel Tails Starring Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham (November 1983), which was then followed by an ongoing bi-monthly series, Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham, under Marvel's Star Comics imprint. The character existed on Earth-8311, which was a universe populated by anthropomorphic versions of the Marvel superheroes. Spider-Ham made his feature film debut in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018), voiced by John Mulaney.Suckling pig
A suckling pig is a piglet fed on its mother's milk (i.e., a piglet which is still a "suckling"). In culinary contexts, a suckling pig is slaughtered between the ages of two and six weeks. It is traditionally cooked whole, often roasted, in various cuisines. It is usually prepared for special occasions and gatherings.
The meat from suckling pig is pale and tender and the cooked skin is crisp and can be used for pork rinds. The texture of the meat can be somewhat gelatinous due to the amount of collagen in a young pig.Suidae
Suidae is a family of artiodactyl mammals which are commonly called pigs, hogs or boars. In addition to numerous fossil species, 17 extant species are currently recognized (or 18 counting domestic pigs and wild boars separately), classified into between four and eight genera. The family includes the domestic pig, Sus scrofa domesticus or Sus domesticus, in addition to numerous species of wild pig, such as babirusas and warthogs. All suids, or swine, are native to the Old World, ranging from Asia to Europe and Africa.
The earliest fossil suids date from the Oligocene epoch in Asia, and their descendants reached Europe during the Miocene. Several fossil species are known and show adaptations to a wide range of different diets, from strict herbivory to possible carrion-eating (in Tetraconodontinae).Wild boar
The wild boar (Sus scrofa), also known as the wild swine, Eurasian wild pig, or simply wild pig, is a suid native to much of Eurasia, North Africa, and the Greater Sunda Islands. Human intervention has spread its distribution further, making the species one of the widest-ranging mammals in the world, as well as the most widely spread suiform. Its wide range, high numbers, and adaptability mean that it is classed as least concern by the IUCN and it has become an invasive species in part of its introduced range. The animal probably originated in Southeast Asia during the Early Pleistocene, and outcompeted other suid species as it spread throughout the Old World.As of 1990, up to 16 subspecies are recognized, which are divided into four regional groupings based on skull height and lacrimal bone length. The species lives in matriarchal societies consisting of interrelated females and their young (both male and female). Fully grown males are usually solitary outside the breeding season. The grey wolf is the wild boar's main predator throughout most of its range, except in the Far East and the Lesser Sunda Islands, where it is replaced by the tiger and Komodo dragon, respectively. It has a long history of association with humans, having been the ancestor of most domestic pig breeds and a big-game animal for millennia. Boars have also re-hybridized in recent decades with feral pigs; these boar–pig hybrids have become a serious pest animal in Australia, Canada, and the United States.