Scientific name: Phacochoerus aethiopicus
Habitat: Open and light bush grasslands
Status: Not threatened
Diet in the wild: mainly grasses and herbs, but also tubers
Diet in the zoo: bulbs, roots, and carrion
Location in the zoo: near the Cheetah
Height 30 in. to shoulder.
Body length up to 60 in.
Weight 130-265 lbs
Color dark brown to black.
Tail 18 in., with a tassel at the end.
A thin mane of hair is on the neck and back.
Warts are present in both males and females, but are more prominent in
Wild warthog photos courtesy of www.africam.com
Warthogs live in small groups called sounders, which usually consists
of one or two females and their young. Adult boars may sometimes
join the group, but usually remain solitary. Most warthogs are active
during the day and graze mainly on grasses and herbs. They tend to
live in abandoned aardvark dens. When entering their dens, the young
climb down first followed by adults, who usually enter backwards to avoid
|Special anatomical, physiological
or behavioral adaptations:
When it come to defending its family, a warthog will exhibit both courage
and ferocity. A combination of speed (its maximum running speed is
30 miles per hour) and two sets of tusks are able to fend off most predators.
Although the warthog has poor eyesight, it has a good sense of smell
and an acute sense of hearing.
Because of its short neck and long legs, the warthog moves on its
wrists when searching for food. As an adaptation to this method of
locomotion, calluses have developed on the wrists. This animal also
has two warts (from which its name is derived) on on both sides of its
Warthog Family courtesy of Africam
here for a video of
Warthog on knees courtesy of Africam
Comments about the warthogs of the Fort Worth
These animals are from Africa. Although they have poor sense of
sight, they have very acute senses of smell and hearing. Both warthogs
are usually silent, but can grunt, growl, snort, and squeal. They
like to eat and are usually found leaning on their knees when grazing.
They also like to lie in the shade and wallow in the mudholes to keep cool.
The warthog has an unusual appearance and tends to cling to a covered
area, such as under a rock or under a burrow. Also, when not eating,
they love to wallow in mud and be playful with each other.
Two very muddy warthogs.
Source Materials and Related Links:
Nowak, Ronald M. Walker's Mammals of the World. Vol
II. 6th ed. John Hopkins University Press.
Grzimek, Bernhard, 1980. Grzimek's Animal Life Encyclopedia.
Volume 13 - Mammals. Van Nostrand Reinhold Company. New York,
"Wart Hog." Wildlife Fact File. 3 Vols. New York: 1991. (This source
does not list a lot of bibliographical information. I found it in
at the Fort Worth Zoo