Warthog, Common

Phacochoerus aethiopicus

Common warthog (Phacochoerus aethiopicus)
The warthog is a member of the pig family. Their preferred habitat is open grassland, savanna and woodland. It gets its name from a single pair of “warts” situated below its eyes. These lumps of thickened skin and bristle are used as a defence from an opponent’s tusks. Males have a second pair close to their tusks.

Warthogs live in a group called a sounder. This may number 16 but usually five or less. They have a varied diet, they will eat bones, soil and stones for their mineral content. They’ll also scavenge both the meat and stomach contents from a carcass.

Interesting facts about the warthog

1. Parental care

A female will forge a raised shelf in the burrow on which the piglets will sleep. This keeps them out of cold water which may run into the main chamber.

2. Piglet digestion

Piglets will eat their mother’s dung to colonise their guts with the bacteria that is needed for digestion.

3. Tusk mimicry

The jawline of a warthog is fringed with upward growing white bristles that mimic tusks in an effort to ward off predators. This is particularly useful for young warthogs which are otherwise defenceless.

Common warthog (Phacochoerus aethiopicus)

4. Predator evasion

An adult will reverse into its burrow so its tusks can be used against anything that tries to enter the hole. When it’s time to leave it will do so at full speed to reduce the chance of being caught by a predator.

Common warthog (Phacochoerus aethiopicus)

5. Nutritious diet

The warthog and the hippo are the only two herbivores that do not have to feed for at least twelve hours of the day. The warthog achieved this by eating highly nutritious roots and bulbs.

6. Tail chasing

Piglets are very playful animals, playing together and on their own. The latter may include a game of “whirling”, tail chasing.

Common warthog (Phacochoerus aethiopicus)

7. Tusks

The outer tusks of a warthog, which are elongated canine teeth, can reach 60 cm and the lower set 13cm. Each time it opens and closes its mouth the upper and lower tusks rub against each other which keeps the lower set razor sharp.

8. Digging

The warthog will use the back of its nose for shovelling earth when digging. When doing so it can close its nostrils to stop them from filling with soil.

Common warthog (Phacochoerus aethiopicus)

Frequently asked questions

What is a warthog?

The common warthog is a member of the pig family (Suidae) that lives in sub-Saharan Africa. They are named after the pair of warts situated below their eyes. Their preferred habitat is open grassland, savanna and woodland. There is one other species of warthog, the desert warthog (Phacochoerus aethiopicus).

What is the scientific name of a warthog?

The scientific name for a warthog is Phacochoerus africanus. The genus, Phacochoerus stems from two Greek words. The first is phakos which means a mole or wart and the second, khoiros meaning a pig. The specific name is simply a reflection of the continent Africa where it can be found.

Are warthogs pigs?

The warthog belongs to the pig family, Suidae. Animals within this family are commonly referred to as pigs, hogs and boars. In all there are 18 species within this family plus the domesticated pig which is a subspecies of the wild boar.

How much does a warthog weigh?

A warthog weighs between 50kg and 70kg. Their height at the shoulder is 55cm to 70cm.

How long do warthogs live?

A warthog can live up to 20 years old.

Howe many babies do warthogs have?

A warthog will have between 2 to 5 babies (piglets) after a gestation period of 5.5 months.

Where do warthogs live?

The common warthog lives in open grassland, savanna and woodland of sub-Saharan Africa. There is a second species, the desert warthog (Phacochoerus aethiopicus) that lives in Kenya and Somalia. The warthog will often take over used aardvark holes and use them to sleep in over night and for raising young.

What so warthogs eat?

They have a varied diet, they will eat bones, soil and stones for their mineral content. They’ll also scavenge both the meat and stomach contents from a carcass.

What eats warthogs?

There are a variety of animals that predate warthog. Predators include lion, leopard, hyena, crocodiles, cheetahs and even eagles such as the martial eagle.

Do warthogs have warts?

They have a single pair of “warts” situated below its eyes. These lumps of thickened skin and bristle are used as a defence from an opponent’s tusks. Males have a second pair close to their tusks.

How many tusks do warthogs have?

A warthog has four tusks (2 pairs). The outer tusks of a warthog, which are elongated canine teeth, can reach 60 cm and the lower set 13cm. Each time it opens and closes its mouth the upper and lower tusks rub against each other keeping the lower set razor sharp.

What is a group of warthogs called?

A group of warthogs is called a sounder which usually numbers 5 or less but can be as many as 16.

What type of animal were Pumbaa and Timon in the Lion King?

In the Lion King Pumbaa was a warthog and his buddy Timon was a meerkat. They were the unusual pair that took Simba in when he was forced to leave his pride after the death of his father. Timon and Pumbaa even had their own spin off TV series.

What was Pumbaa and Timon’s song in the Lion King?

In the Lion King, Pumbaa and Timon explain to Simba that a life can be very simple of you keep one thing in mind. Having no troubles. The warthog and meerkat sing Hakuna Matata.

Video length: 4 minutes 3 seconds. Video source: Dudu

Conservation status : Least concern
Shoulder height : 55 to 70 cm
Weight : 50 kg to 70 kg
Life span : Up to 20 years
Gestation : 5.5 months
Young : 2 to 5

Vote for the fact you find most fascinating

The jawline of a warthog is fringed with upward growing white bristles that mimic tusks in an effort to ward off predators. This is particularly useful for young warthogs which are otherwise defenceless.

The warthog and the hippo are the only two herbivores that do not have to feed for at least twelve hours of the day. The warthog achieved this by eating highly nutritious roots and bulbs.

The outer tusks of a warthog, which are elongated canine teeth, can reach 60 cm and the lower set 13cm. Each time it opens and closes its mouth the upper and lower tusks rub against each other which keeps the lower set razor sharp.

An adult warthog will reverse into its burrow so its tusks can be used against anything that tries to enter the hole. When it’s time to leave it will do so at full speed to reduce the chance of being caught by a predator.

Piglets will eat their mother’s dung to colonise their guts with the bacteria that is needed for digestion.

A female warthog will forge a raised shelf in the burrow on which the piglets will sleep. This keeps them out of cold water which may run into the main chamber.

Piglets are very playful animals, playing together and on their own. The latter may include a game of “whirling”, tail chasing.

The warthog will use the back of its nose for shovelling earth when digging. When doing so it can close its nostrils to stop them from filling with soil.