Pigs are animals that come under the genus Sus. They include wild boars and other varieties in addition to the domesticated pigs. Mostly found all across the globe, they were introduced in America and Australia by humans. Now, they are found in all places except Antarctica. They are widely domesticated by human beings, mostly for their meat. Their hair and bones are also used sometimes to make articles like brushes and other artifacts. Because of extensive domestication and very impressive numbers in the wild, pigs are one of the most densely found large mammals in the planet. The human association with pigs means that they are a part of our literature and art forms and popular culture. In fact, many curious conclusions have been drawn from the habits of pigs, most of which are negative. These interesting facts about pigs actually bust some very popular notions about them.
Scientific Name: Sus Scrofa
Common Names: Pig, hog and swine
Smallest Breed: Mini Maialino (20 lbs)
Number of Teeth: 44
Natural Habitat: Throughout the world
Diet: Omnivorous (leaves and grasses, roots, fruits and flowers, dead insects, worms, tree bark, rotting carcasses, etc
Age: 9 to 15 years
Age of Maturity (females): 8 to 18 months
Age of Maturity (males): 8 to 10 months
Number of Offspring: 6 to 12
Interesting Facts About Pigs
- The Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto first brought pig to North America in 1539.
- There are 15 species of pigs.
- Groups of pigs are called swine, herd, drove, mob, or sounder of pigs or hogs. Male pigs are called boars, the females are called sows, and the young are called piglets. A castrated male hog is called a barrow and young female hogs are called gilts.
- Pigs are intelligent animals and can be easily trained, much better than dogs.
- A piglet can respond to a name in two week’s time.
- Pigs have an excellent sense of smell with which they can detect food that is buried underground, at a depth of 5 feet.
- Contrary to the very popular belief, pigs are cleaner than most animals. Unless under restraints, they do not excrete in the same place where they sleep.
- Pigs are a part of popular culture and have inspired a lot of idioms, many of which are based on one-sided observations.
- The idiom ‘to sweat like a pig’ is one such idion. Pigs do not have sweat glands and roll in mud to cool their bodies. Pigs actually prefer water to mud. In fact, pigs are excellent swimmers.
- ‘To hog’ is another expression that refers to pig’s gluttony. Pigs actually eat only until they are full.
- A fully-grown pig can consume up to 14 gallons of water a day.
- Pigs are omnivores though they are generally fed with grains when they are domesticated.
- In the wild, boars have natural predators but most predators think twice about attacking a fully-grown boar. Boars have been known to gore even tigers to death, in self–defense.
- Pigs have been used in battlefields to sniff out mines.
- Pigs have four toes on each foot, but walk using only the middle two.
- Pigs are social animals and prefer to rest close to each other. They use their grunts to communicate with others of their kind.
- A sow can give birth to a litter that usually contains 7-12 piglets. The largest litter recorded is one, which contained 37 piglets.
- The largest pig in recorded history was a Poland China hog named Big Bill who weighed an astounding 2,552 pounds and was 5 feet tall and 9 feet long.
- A pig’s squeal can range from 110 decibels up to 115 decibels. For comparison, a jet taking of reaches 112 decibels.
- Pork is the most consumed meat around the world. Pork has 3 times as much thiamine than any other food.
- Pig heart valves have been used to replace human heart valves.
- Insulin and more than 40 other pharmaceuticals and medicines are derived from pig products.