Red River Hog

Latin Name
Potamochoerus porcus

Class
Mammals

Order
Artiodactyla

Description

Africa’s smallest and most colorful swine species, red river hogs have reddish bodies with a white stripe running down the back. Mature males have warts in front of the eyes; both sexes have tusks. Adults can reach up to 5 feet in length and weigh up to 285 pounds.


 

Range

Central Africa


Status

Red river hogs are considered a species of least concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.


Habitat

Forests and grasslands


Niche

Red river hogs eat a diverse diet—everything from grasses and fruit to small animals. Individuals will use strong teeth to dig for roots; males also use their tusks to mark territory by scraping tree trunks.


Life History

Red river hogs live in social groups averaging 4–15 members, typically with one dominant male. Females give birth to litters of one–six young; four are average. The little ones are initially secured in a large grass nest as they grow. Both the mother and dominant male care for piglets.


Special Adaptations
  • Long tufts extending from the ears can be used to brush insects away from the red river hogs’ eyes.
  • Special glands in the feet, neck and corners of the eyes help them mark territory.


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ARKive image - Female red river hog with youngARKive video - Red river hog- overviewARKive image - Red river hog and young

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