May 31, 2009

That Pig's So Hot

The warthog (Phacochoerus africanus) is found throughout most of Africa. It's the only pig on the planet that is able to endure an environment in which there is no water for several months out of the year. How does it do that? Most likely they're able to endure a higher-than-normal body temperature, which allows them to store moisture in their body for consumption through the dry months. They are, in a word, hot. Camels do the same thing.

The males are larger than the females, and can weigh in at over 300 lbs. But since warthogs live in small matriarchal clans, the males get very aggressive when it comes to access to the ladies. That's most lilkely why this pair began sparring. Ironically, it was the boar with the larger of the tusks that walked away from the fight. Seems that being cantankerous, combative, and scrappy counts for a lot. I'll be teaching that life lesson to my children.

As a sidenote: Those warts are knobby protrusions meant to protect the head in such fights. Would that all warts were functional.

Photo by Thomas Retterath

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calavera , cráneo , caletre [sl.]


April Lorier said...

Truly not "beautiful" Justin. But interesting with the similarity to camels. Neat how the Creator gave each species different qualities to help them survive! Yes, would that all warts were useful.:-D

3Anon3 said...

April- tell that to the over 99% of species that have gone extinct over the history of the earth. Also, tell that to the dozens of organisms that don't survive to reproduce for every one that does.

And tell that to the thousands of scientists worldwide who have spent their whole lives studying organisms. Biologists and other natural scientists are actually the group of scientists which have the smallest rates of religiosity. Some 41% of biologists don't believe in god(s) (although that figure is MUCH higher the more educated and prominent they are). Compare that to the ~16% of nonbelievers in the general public (US).