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|Image Info||Original File Name: Zwijntje-Wild Boar (Sus scrofa).jpg Resolution: 2048x1536 File Size: 1535906 Bytes Date: 2004:09:26 14:29:10 Camera: Canon PowerShot S1 IS (Canon) F number: f/2.8 Exposure: 1/60 sec Focal Length: 5800/1000 Upload Time: 2006:12:28 16:02:47|
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|Subject||Wild Boar (Sus scrofa) - Wiki|
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Wild Boar (Sus scrofa) - Wiki
The Wild Boar (Sus scrofa) is the wild ancestor of the domestic pig. It is native in woodlands across much of Central Europe, the Mediterranean Region (including North Africa's Atlas Mountains) and much of Asia as far south as Indonesia, and has been widely introduced elsewhere. It is in the same Suidae biological family as the Warthog and Bushpig of Africa, the Pygmy Hog of northern India, Babirusa of Indonesia and others. It is more distantly related to the peccary or javelina found in the southwestern area of North America and throughout Central and South America.
Wild boars can reach up to 440 lb (200 kg), occasionally even 660 lb (300 kg) for adult males, and can be up to 6 feet (1.8 m) long. If surprised or cornered they may become aggressive - particularly a sow with her piglets - and if attacked will defend themselves vigourously with their tusks.
The wild boar became extinct in Great Britain in the 17th century, but wild breeding populations have recently returned in some areas, particularly the Weald, following escapes from boar farms.
Wild or feral
The difference between the wild and domestic animals is largely a matter of perception; both are usually described as Sus scrofa, and domestic pigs quite readily become feral. The characterisation of populations as wild, feral or domestic and pig or boar is usually decided by where the animals are encountered and what is known of their history. In New Zealand for example, wild pigs are known as "Captain Cookers" from their supposed descent from liberations and gifts to M??ori by explorer Captain James Cook in the 1770s.
The term boar is used to denote an adult male of certain species, including, confusingly, domestic pigs. In the case of wild pigs only, it is correct to say "female boar" or "infant wild boar", since boar or wild boar refers to the species itself.
One characteristic by which domestic breed and wild animals are differentiated is coats. Wild animals almost always have thick, short bristly coats ranging in colour from brown through grey to black. A prominent ridge of hair matching the spine is also common, giving rise to the name razorback in the southern United States. The tail is usually short and straight. Wild animals tend also to have longer legs than domestic breeds and a longer and narrower head and snout. European adult males can be up to 200 kg (sometimes up to 300 kg in certain areas, particularly Eastern Europe) and have both upper and lower tusks; females do not have tusks and are around a third smaller on average. (Compare "Hogzilla", a very large boar shot in Georgia, USA in 2004.)
'Boars' in other species
Adult males of the following species are known as boars: badger, bear, guinea pig, hedgehog, panda, pig, prairie dog and raccoon. The corresponding females are called sows. Names for the young are more variable.
Wild boars live in groups called sounders. Sounders typically contain around 20 animals, but groups of over 50 have been seen. In a typical sounder there are two or three sows and their offspring; adult males are not part of the sounder outside of the autumnal breeding season and are usually found alone. Birth, called farrowing, usually occurs in the spring; a litter will typically contain five piglets, but up to 13 have been known.
The animals are usually nocturnal, foraging from dusk until dawn but with resting periods during both night and day. This is because hunters are most active during the day. They eat almost anything they come across, including nuts, berries, carrion, roots, tubers, refuse, insects, small reptiles--even young deer and lambs.
- Sus scrofa scrofa - inhabits anywhere in North Africa, Europe, and Asia
- Sus scrofa ussuricus - inhabits North Asia and Japan
- Sus scrofa cristatus - inhabits Asia Minor peninsula, India and the Far- East
- Sus scrofa taiwanus - inhabits Taiwan
Mythology and symbolism
In Greek mythology two boars are particularly well known. The Erymanthian Boar was hunted by Hercules as one of his Twelve Labours, and the Calydonian Boar was hunted in the Calydonian Hunt by dozens of other mythological heroes, including some of the Argonauts and the huntress Atalanta.
In Celtic mythology the boar was sacred to the goddess Arduinna, and boar hunting features in several stories of Celtic and Irish mythology. One such story is that of how Fionn mac Cumhaill ("Finn McCool") lured his rival Diarmuid Ua Duibhne to his death - gored by a wild boar.
Scottish Highland Clan Campbell uses the boar on its badge to symbolize courage and fierceness. Clan Urquhart similarly uses three boars' heads on its coat of arms.
The wild boar was a symbol of Richard III of England. The boar and boar's head are common charges in heraldry. A complete beast may represent what are seen as the positive qualities of the boar, namely courage and fierceness in battle; a boar's head may represent hospitality (from the common provision of roast boar at banquets), or it may symbolise that the bearer of the arms is a noted hunter. However boar charges also lend themselves very well to canting (heraldic punning).
The town of Eberbach in Baden-W??rttemberg, Germany uses a civic coat of arms that demonstrates this. It depicts a boar (Eber in German) and a wavy blue fess meant to represent a brook (Bach in German), making the arms a rebus for the town's name.
In Belgium, the wild boar is the symbolic animal of the Ardennes forests in the south of the country, and is the mascot of one of the Belgian Army's premier infantry regiments, the Chasseurs Ardennais, the soldiers of which wear a boar's head pin on their beret.
The Norse gods Freyr and Freyja both had boars. Freyr’s boar was named Gullinbursti ("Golden Mane"), who was manufactured by the Sons of Ivaldi as a gift to Freyr. The bristles in Gullinbursti’s mane glowed in the dark to illuminate the way for his owner. Freya rode the boar Hildesvini (Battle Swine) when she was not using her cat-drawn chariot. According to the poem Hyndlulj??ð, Freyja concealed the identity of her prot??g?? Ottar by turning him into a boar. In Norse Mythology, the boar was generally associated with fertility as well as a protective talisman in war, due to the animal’s sometimes fierce nature.
In Persia (Iran) during Sassanid Empire, Boars were respected as fierce and brave creatures and the adjective "Boraz (Goraz)" meaning Boar was sometimes added to a person's name to show his bravery and courage. The famous Sassanid spahbod, Shahrbaraz, who conquered Egypt and the Levant, had his name derived Shar + Baraz meaning "Boar of the Kingdom" 3 boar are seen on the Grimsby coat of arms.
Also, in Hindu mythology, the third avatar of the Lord Vishnu was Varaha, a boar.
In Chinese horoscope the boar (sometimes also translate as pig), is the one of the twelve animals of the signs, based on the legends about its creation, either involving Buddha or the Jade Emperor.
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