A LARGEST PIG
Reared on a diet of sorghum molasses, banana peels and slop, the Poland-China hog Big Bill grew to 2,552 lb (1,157 kg) – twice the weight of an adult male polar bear. In 1933, Big Bill had to be put down after breaking his leg. Stuffed and mounted, he was placed on display at travelling carnivals before vanishing. His current whereabouts are a mystery.
A LARGEST BABIRUSA
The babirusa, or “deer-pig”, is notable for its curved canine tusks. All members of the Babyrousa genus were considered a single species until they were divided up in 2002.
A native of Indonesia’s Togian Archipelago -where it is found on the small islands of Malenge, Batudaka, Togian and Talatakoh – the Malenge or Togian babirusa (B. togeanensis) can tip the scales at 90 kg (198 lb).
A LARGEST WILD PIG
Undescribed by science until 1904, the giant forest hog (Hylochoerus melnertzhageni) of central Africa certainly lives up to its name.
The huge hog has a head-body length of 1.3
2.1 m (51-83 in), a shoulder height of 85-105 cm (33.5-41.33 in) and a weight of 130-275 kg (287-606 lb) – heavier than three adult men.
T LARGEST HELL PIG
Known as hell or terminator pigs, entelodonts were a now-extinct taxonomic family of piglike omnivores that were alive during the early Miocene epoch. The largest species – Daeodon shoshonensis, aka Dinohyus hollandi – stood 1.8-2.0 m (5 ft 10 in-6 ft 6 in) at the shoulder, taller than an average human male (see below). Its 90-cm-long (35.4-in) skull held a brain no larger than an orange.
. MOST WIDELY DISTRIBUTED PECCARY
The collared peccary or javelina (Pecari tajacu) extends from northern Argentina through Central America and Mexico into the US states of Texas and Arizona. It is also native to Caribbean islands such as Trinidad, Cuba and Puerto Rico. Weighing as little as 14 kg (30 lb 13 oz), it is also the lightest peccary.
A pig’s squeal can be as loud as 115 decibels
The collective name for a group of pigs is a “drift” or “drove”
Largest genus of pigs
The Sus genus contains 10 modern-day species of typical pigs and wild boars. These include not only the Eurasian wild boar (S. scrofa), the direct ancestor of the domestic pig, but also rare Asian island species including the Palawan bearded pig (S. ahoenobarbus) and the Mindoro warty pig (S. oliveri).
Largest wild pig ever
The unicorn pig (Kubanochoerus gigas) lived 7-20 million years ago during the Miocene epoch in modern-day Russia and China. It stood up to
1.2 m (3 ft 11 in) at the shoulder and weighed as much as 500 kg (1,102 lb).
Newest wild boar
The Central Asian wild boar (S. scrofa davidi) was not recognized as a separate subspecies of wild boar until 1981. Relatively small and light brown in colour, with a long mane, it has a distribution range extending from Pakistan and north-western India to south-eastern Iran.
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The mature male pygmy hog (Porcula salvania) measures 61-71 cm (24-28 in) long; females grow to 55-62 cm (21-24 in). Indigenous to the Terai region of India, Nepal and Bhutan, since 1996 it has been listed as “Critically Endangered” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Only isolated populations survive in Assam, India, and wildlife sanctuaries.
This species is the only known host of an ectoparasitic (i.e., existing on the outside) sucking louse, making the pygmy hog-sucking louse (Haematopinus oliveri) the rarest porcine ectoparasite. Only around 150 pygmy hogs still exist, meaning that both they and the pygmy hogsucking louse are listed as “Critically Endangered”.
With a name that means “fat and round” in Maori, the kunekune pig comes from New Zealand, where it is thought to have arrived from Asia via 19th-century trading ships and whalers. Adults stand as little as 48 cm (18.8 in) at the shoulder and can weigh a mere 60 kg (132 lb). They were widely hunted, and by the late 1970s the numbers of purebred kunekune -had dropped to as low as 50. A breeding programme helped to save the species from extinction
Approximate number of domestic pigs in the world today
Species of wild pig alive today
The brightly furred red river hog (Potamochoerus porcus) is native to rainforests and swamps in central and western Africa, especially Guinea and the Congo. Adult males weigh 45-120 kg (99-264 lb), measure 100-145 cm (39-57 in) long and stand 55-80 cm (21-31 in) at the shoulder. The red river hog is also notable for its unexpectedly mellifluous and tuneful vocalizations.
Oldest pig ever
Born on 17 Jul 1991, a pot-bellied pig (S. scrofa domesticus) named Ernestine was aged 23 years 76 days when she passed away on 1 Oct 2014. She lived with her owners Jude and Dan King in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
Rarest wild boar
The Visayan warty pig (S. cebifrons) is known with certainty to exist only on Negros and Panay, two of the Visayan Islands in the Philippines.
Its fragmented population has decreased by around 80% in recent years, and the species has disappeared from around 95% of its former distribution range. The IUCN categorizes the Visayan warty pig as “Critically Endangered”.
Pigs might not fly, but a pot-bellied pig called Kotetsu did leap 70 cm (2 ft 3.5 in) into the air at the Mokumoku Tedsukuri Farm in Mie, Japan, on 22 Aug 2004. The 18-month-old Kotetsu had been trained by Makoto Ieki (JPN).
The longest dive by a pig is 3.31 m (10 ft 10 in), by Miss Piggy, owned by Tom Vandeleur (AUS). She leapt into a 86.5-cm-deep (34-in) pool at the Royal Darwin Show in Darwin, Australia, on 22 Jul 2005.
Most cloned pigs born in one litter
On 5 Mar 2000, five piglets named Millie, Christa, Alexis, Carrel and Dotcom were born as a result of a cloning procedure known as nuclear transfer. They were created by PPL Therapeutics Plc – the company that created Dolly the cloned sheep in 1996 – in Blacksburg, Virginia, USA.
In 2005, a team from Taiwan University’s Department of Animal Science and Technology added DNA from bioluminescent jellyfish to approximately 265 pig embryos, which were then implanted into eight sows. Three male bioluminescent piglets were born. Their skin and internal organs have a greenish tinge, which becomes a torch-like glow if blue light is shone on them in the dark. Stem cells taken from them will be used to trace human diseases, as the green-glowing protein that the pigs produce can be readily observed without the need for biopsies or invasive tests.
In the early medieval period, animals such as dogs, cows, horses and pigs could be brought before a judge if suspected of a capital offence. In 1266, a pig was tried and burned for the crime of eating a child. The execution took place in Fontenay-aux-Roses, France, overseen by the monks of St Genevieve. •”.*.*r*