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Pigs, also called hogs or swine, are ungulates, which have been domesticated as sources of food, leather, and similar products since ancient times.
Native to Eurasia, they are collectively grouped under the genus SUS within the “suidae” family. Despite pigs’ reputation for gluttony, and another reputation for dirtiness, a lesser-known quality is their intelligence. The nearest living relatives of the swine family are the Peccaries.
Pigs are omnivores, which means that they consume both plants and animals. Pigs will scavenge and have been known to eat any kind of food, including dead insects, worms, tree bark, rotting carcasses, garbage, roots, fruit and flowers. Occasionally, in captivity, pigs may eat their own young, often if they become severely stressed.
A typical pig has a large head with a long snout which is used to dig into soil to find food and is a very sensitive sense organ. Pigs have a full set of 44 teeth. A litter of piglets typically contains between 6 and twelve piglets.
Pigs do not have functional sweat glands, so they cool themselves using water or mud during hot weather. They also use mud as a form of sunscreen to protect their skin from sunburn. Mud also provides protection against flies and parasites.
Pigs can be susceptible to pneumonia, usually caused by weather. Pigs have small lungs in relation to body size; for this reason, bronchitis or pneumonia can kill a pig quickly.
Pigs can be aggressive and pig-induced injuries are relatively common in areas where pigs are reared.