Common warthogs are medium-sized wild members of the pig family. Warthogs are identifiable by the two pairs of tusks protruding from the mouth and curving upwards. The tusks are not used for digging but are used for combat with other hogs, and in defense against predators. Common warthogs have a large head, with a mane down the spine to the middle of the back. Their body is covered with sparse hair and is usually black or brown in color. Tails are long and end with a tuft of hair. Females in this species are typically a bit smaller and lighter in weight than males.
Diurnal animals are active during the daytime, with a period of sleeping or other inactivity at night. The timing of activity by an animal depends ...
An omnivore is an animal that has the ability to eat and survive on both plant and animal matter. Obtaining energy and nutrients from plant and ani...
Scavengers are animals that consume dead organisms that have died from causes other than predation or have been killed by other predators. While sc...
Terrestrial animals are animals that live predominantly or entirely on land (e.g., cats, ants, snails), as compared with aquatic animals, which liv...
Altricial animals are those species whose newly hatched or born young are relatively immobile. They lack hair or down, are not able to obtain food ...
A burrow is a hole or tunnel excavated into the ground by an animal to create a space suitable for habitation, temporary refuge, or as a byproduct ...
Grazing is a method of feeding in which a herbivore feeds on plants such as grasses, or other multicellular organisms such as algae. In agriculture...
Among animals, viviparity is the development of the embryo inside the body of the parent. The term 'viviparity' and its adjective form 'viviparous'...
Polygynandry is a mating system in which both males and females have multiple mating partners during a breeding season.
NoNot a migrant
Animals that do not make seasonal movements and stay in their native home ranges all year round are called not migrants or residents.
Common warthogs are found in sub-Saharan Africa. They live in grasslands, savanna, open bushlands, and woodlands. These animals prefer open areas and avoid rainforest, thickets, cool montane grasslands, and severe desert.
Common warthogs are social animals and live in groups called sounders. Females live in sounders with their young and with other females. Females tend to stay in their natal groups, while males leave, but stay within the home range. Subadult males associate in bachelor groups but live alone when they become adults. Adult males only join sounders during the breeding season. Common warthogs are not territorial but instead occupy a home range. They have two facial glands: the tusk gland and the sebaceous gland. They mark sleeping and feeding areas and waterholes. Common warthogs use tusk marking for courtship, for antagonistic behaviors, and to establish status. These animals are the only pig species that has adapted to grazing in savanna habitats. They are powerful diggers and use both their snouts and feet. Whilst feeding, they often bend their front feet backward and move around on the wrists. Although they can dig their own burrows, they usually occupy abandoned burrows of other animals. When temperatures are hight Common warthogs enjoy wallowing in mud in order to cool themselves and will huddle together to get warm when the temperatures get low. Although capable of fighting, the Common warthog's primary defense is to flee by means of fast sprinting. However, if a female has any piglets, she will defend them very aggressively.
Common warthogs are polygynandrous (promiscuous), which means that both males and females have multiple mates. They are seasonal breeders and rutting begins in the late rainy or early dry season. Males have two mating strategies during the rut. First is the "staying tactic", when a male stays and defends certain females. In the "roaming tactic", males seek out ready to mate females and compete for them. A dominant male will displace any other male that also tries to court his female. When a female leaves her den, the male will try to demonstrate his dominance and then follow her. When females are about to give birth, they temporarily leave their families to farrow in a separate hole. The gestation period is 5-6 months and the litter is 2-8 piglets, with 2-4 typical. The female will stay in the hole for several weeks, nursing her piglets. Common warthog females may also nurse foster piglets if they lose their own litter. This behavior is called allosucking and makes them cooperative breeders. Piglets begin grazing at about 2-3 weeks and are weaned by 6 months. Young quickly attain mobility and stay close to their mothers for defense. They become reproductively mature at 18-20 months of age.
Major threats to Common warthogs include droughts, disease, and hunting. In eastern Africa, these animals suffer from habitat degradation, loss and fragmentation, and competition with livestock for water and food. Common warthogs are hunted for bushmeat, entertainment, skins, and tusks, as bait for hunting large carnivores, for crop raiding, or to reduce grazing pressure.
According to the IUCN Red List, the total population size of the Common warthogs is unknown. However, there is an estimated population of the species in South Africa which includes around 22,250 individuals. Currently, Common warthogs are classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List but their numbers today are decreasing.