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Warthog / kolobe

Phacochoerus aethiopicus

Description:

a pig like animal with two pairs of large warts on its face, skin grey/black but may appear red, yellow or white depending on the colour of the mud it has recently been wallowing in. The body of the adult is mostly hairless except for white whiskers along the cheek/jawline, a black mane down the neck and a small tuft of hair at the tip of the tail. The tail is long and thin and is held vertically aloft when the warthog is running. Males develop sustantial tusks: those from the upper jaws sweep out and curve upwards, and may reach 25cm or more, and are used primarily for digging and rooting up bulbs etc to eat. The tusks of the lower jaws are shorter, narrower and straight and fit into groovesalong the upper tusks, these lower tusks are honed to a fine point and are continually sharpened by rubbing against the upper tusk - these lower tusks are used as weapons. Sows (females) are similar to the boars (males) but their warts are less prominant and their tusks a little smaller

Habitat:

Warthogs inhabit open savanna, particularly where water is available for drinking and for wallowing. The young warthog spotted was living in the bushveld close to the Limpopo river

Notes:

The warthog spotted here is an adolescent female who still has a fair coating of hair and has not developed tusks. An interesting habit of warthogs is the fact that they always reverse into holes when they retire to rest so that the business end is always in a defensive position. In addition they rarely dig their own burrows preferring to utilise ready-made quarters which are otherwise unoccupied. When it comes to feeding the warthog's staple diet is plant based including a variety of roots and bulbs etc as well as greenery which it frequently grazes while on its front knees (as in photo 2) But if the opportunity arises warthogs will happily feed off a carcass should they come upon one, thus one might call it a faciltative carnivore

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1 Comment

Maria dB
Maria dB 2 years ago

great spotting!

Central District, Botswana

Lat: -23.29, Long: 27.03

Spotted on Sep 4, 2008
Submitted on Apr 22, 2012

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