|Species|| P. africanus|
Warthog refers to two species of wild pig of the genus Phacochoerus, and found in the grasslands and arid areas of sub-Saharan Africa, and characterized by the fleshy protuberances on its face.
Warthogs have a large head on a short, compact body. They have a body length of 3 to 4.9 feet, and stand 25 to 33.5 inches at the shoulder. Males weigh up to 330 pounds, and females weigh up to 165 pounds. The hair is sparse and thin, brownish to grayish in color, depending on the subspecies, with the longest hairs running from the top of the head to the rump. The snout is long, bearing two pairs of tusks (modified canine teeth), which they use to dig and as defensive weapons; the smaller tusks in the lower jaw rub repeatedly against the upper tusks when the mouth is closed, giving them a razor edge and a nasty bite when defending itself. The upper tusks are deeply-curved, and can be up to 24 inches long.
The face bears the protuberances on either side that gives the animal its name. Although wart-like, they are not warts at all, but rather a means of facial protection during the mating season. Males posses six warts arranged in pairs: a mandibular pair forward on either side of the jaw; a preorbital pair on either side of the face between the eyes and tusks; and an infraorbital pair under and just behind the eyes. The warts are larger in males than in females, which lack the mandibular pair.
In the past it was once believed that only one warthog species existed throughout Africa. Recent research indicates two species, with the differences in the construction of the skull and teeth.
- Common warthog, Phacochoerus africanus
- Central African warthog, P. a. massaicus; Kenya and Tanzania
- Eritrean warthog, P. a. aeliani; Eritrea, Ethiopia, Djibouti, and Somalia
- Nolan warthog, P. a. africanus; south of the Sahara Desert, from Mauritania south to northern fringes of Congo River basin, east to Ethiopia
- Southern warthog, P. a. sundevallii; Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe
- Desert warthog, Phacochoerus aethiopicus
- Cape warthog, P. a. aethiopicus; South Africa (extinct)
- Somali warthog, P. a. delamerei; southeastern Ethiopia, southwestern Somalia to Kenya
In popular culture
- The Warthog is the nickname of the A10 Thunderbolt II strike aircraft
- Puumba the warthog is a major character from Disney's animated film The Lion King