Where do warthogs live?
Warthogs are found in moist and arid savannas. They avoid rain forests, deserts, and high mountains.
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What is a warthog?
The warthog is a tough, sturdy animal. Males weigh 20 to 50 pounds more than females, but both are distinguished by disproportionately large heads and “warts”—thick protective pads that appear on both sides of the head. The warthog's large tusks are unusual: The two upper tusks emerge from the sides of the snout to form a semicircle; the lower tusks, at the base of the uppers, are worn to a sharp-cutting edge. Sparse bristles cover the warthog's body, and longer bristles form a mane from the top of the head down the spine to the middle of the back. The long tail ends with a tuft of bristles. The warthog characteristically carries its tail upright when it runs, the tuft waving like a tiny flag.
The warthog really puts its back into eating.
Warthogs take feeding seriously. They have developed an interesting practice of kneeling on their calloused, hairy, padded knees to eat short grass. The warthog will also use its snout and tusks to dig for bulbs, tubers, and roots during the dry season. During the wet season, they may eat earthworms and other small invertebrates.
Warthogs have a practice of trespassing on others’ homes.
Although they can excavate, warthogs normally use holes dug by other animals, like aardvarks. They sleep and rest in holes. The shelter holes provide is important for warthog thermoregulation—having neither fur nor fat, the warthog lacks both protection from the sun and insulation from cold. Sometimes, warthogs will fill the holes with grass for warmth.
Males prefer a bachelor’s lifestyle—only joining females to mate.
Warthogs live in family groups composed of a female and her young. Sometimes, two families, often of related females, will join together. Males normally live alone, only joining these groups to mate.
Females have a practice of abandoning their young.
Before giving birth to a new litter, the female warthog will chase away the litter she has been raising and goes into isolation. These abandoned juveniles may join up with another solitary female for a short time before they go out on their own. The female suckles the new litter, and each piglet has its own teat, suckling exclusively from it. Even if a piglet dies, the others do not suckle from the available teat. As such, litter sizes are usually confined to four young because females only have four teats.