Warthogs got their names from the bumps on their faces that look like warts. They also each have four tusks—two on each side of their snouts. The upper tusks are longer and curve toward each other. Warthog skin is gray or black and has sparse bristles.
Warthogs are pigs that live in Africa south of the Sahara. Their preferred habitat is open plains and grasslands; they are able to live in areas without water for several months of the year. Warthog eat short grass by kneeling; their knees are padded, calloused and hairy. Using its snout and tusks, a warthog can also dig for bulbs, tubers or roots. They have a good sense of smell and hearing, but poor eyesight.
A full grown warthog can be 4 to 6 feet long. Males can weigh 20 to 50 pounds more than females. They range in weight from 110 to 260 pounds, but are only about 2 and a half feet high at the shoulder. At birth a warthog weighs 1 to 2 pounds.
To escape predators, warthogs can run up to 30 miles per hour. Though they will fight if they have to. Adult warthogs back into their burrow, so that their tusks go in last. As part of the mating ritual, the male’s grunts sound like an engine or motor. Warthog squeal loudly when attacked.
Fun Warthog Facts
- Warthog travel in small groups called sounders.
- Warthog use the burrows of others animals, such as aardvarks, for shelter.
- Warthogs have manes like a horse.
- Female warthogs only have 4 teats and each piglet suckles from its "own" teat—no sharing allowed.
- When warthogs run, their tails stick up. Baby warthog run in a line behind mom.
- Like rhinos, warthog like to wallow in mud holes to keep cool.
African Wildlife Foundation
San Diego Zoo
Zambia National Tourist Board
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