Warthogs photographed at Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in Ohio
Warthogs photographed at Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in Ohio
Photograph by Joel Sartore, National Geographic Photo Ark

Warthog

Common Name:
Warthog
Scientific Name:
Phacochoerus africanus
Type:
Mammals
Diet:
Herbivore
Group Name:
Sounder
Average Life Span In The Wild:
15 years
Size:
Height at shoulder: 30 inches
Weight:
120 to 250 pounds
IUCN Red List Status:
Least concern
Current Population Trend:
Decreasing

Warthogs are members of the same family as domestic pigs, but present a much different appearance. These sturdy hogs are not among the world's most aesthetically pleasing animals—their large, flat heads are covered with "warts," which are actually protective bumps. Warthogs also sport four sharp tusks. They are mostly bald, but they do have some sparse hair and a thicker mane on their backs.

Behavior

Though warthogs appear ferocious, they are basically grazers. They eat grasses and plants, and also use their snouts to dig or “root” for roots or bulbs. When startled or threatened, warthogs can be surprisingly fast, running at speeds of up to 30 miles an hour.

Warthogs are adaptable and are able to go long periods without water, as much as several months in the dry season.

When water is available, warthogs will seek it and often submerge to cool down. They will also wallow in mud for the same purpose—and to gain relief from insects. Birds also aid these hogs in their battle with insects; oxpeckers and other species sometimes ride along on their warthog hosts, feeding on the tiny creatures invading their hides.

Dens

These African hogs often utilize empty dens created by aardvarks. Rather than fight, they often choose flight, and search for such a den to use as a hidey-hole. They typically back in, using their tusks to effectively guard the entrance.

Warthogs also use these dens to have their young. Females have litters of four or fewer young, which they suckle for about four months.

This photo was submitted to Your Shot, our photo community on Instagram. Follow us on Instagram at @natgeoyourshot or visit us at natgeo.com/yourshot for the latest submissions and news about the community.
This photo was submitted to Your Shot, our photo community on Instagram. Follow us on Instagram at @natgeoyourshot or visit us at natgeo.com/yourshot for the latest submissions and news about the community.
Photograph by I. Tinkler, National Geographic Your Shot

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