PNG images: Pig
A pig is any of the animals in the genus Sus, within the even-toed ungulate family Suidae. Pigs include the domestic pig and its ancestor, the common Eurasian wild boar (Sus scrofa), along with other species; related creatures outside the genus include the peccary, the babirusa, and the warthog. Pigs, like all suids, are native to the Eurasian and African continents. Juvenile pigs are known as piglets. Pigs are highly social and intelligent animals.
With around 1 billion individuals alive at any time, the domesticated pig is one of the most numerous large mammals on the planet. Pigs are omnivores and can consume a wide range of food, similar to humans. Pigs can harbour a range of parasites and diseases that can be transmitted to humans. Because of the similarities between pigs and humans, pigs are used for human medical research.
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A typical pig has a large head with a long snout that is strengthened by a special prenasal bone and by a disk of cartilage at the tip. The snout is used to dig into the soil to find food and is a very acute sense organ. There are four hoofed toes on each trotter (foot), with the two larger central toes bearing most of the weight, but the outer two also being used in soft ground.
The dental formula of adult pigs is 184.108.40.206.1.4.3, giving a total of 44 teeth. The rear teeth are adapted for crushing. In the male, the canine teeth form tusks, which grow continuously and are sharpened by constantly being ground against each other.
Occasionally, captive mother pigs may savage their own piglets, often if they become severely stressed. Some attacks on newborn piglets are non-fatal. Others may cause the death of the piglets and sometimes, the mother may eat the piglets. It is estimated that 50% of piglet fatalities are due to the mother attacking, or unintentionally crushing, the newborn pre-weaned animals.
Scientists have recently discovered that pigs can exhibit a cognitive bias and are optimists or pessimists, similar to humans. In a study by the University of Lincoln, 36 pigs were tested. They were placed in a room with two food bowls at each end of the room. One food bowl contained sugar-coated chocolate sweets and the other contained coffee beans. Optimistic pigs were likely to check if there was a third bowl filled with sweets. However pessimistic pigs would not even bother checking if the bowl was filled with sweets or not. It was said that "Pro-active pigs were willing to see whether there was a positive outcome in the mystery bowl". The study shows that non-human animals can share similar traits with humans.
With around 1 billion individuals alive at any time, the domesticated pig is one of the most numerous large mammals on the planet.
The ancestor of the domesticated pig is the wild boar, which is one of the most numerous and widespread large mammals. Its many subspecies are native to all but the harshest climates of continental Eurasia and its islands and Africa as well, from Ireland and India to Japan and north to Siberia.
Long isolated from other pigs on the many islands of Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines, pigs have evolved into many different species, including wild boar, bearded pigs, and warty pigs. Humans have introduced pigs into Australia, North and South America, and numerous islands, either accidentally as escaped domestic pigs which have gone feral, or as wild boar.