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The are three kinds of wild boars: true wild pigs; feral pigs (descendants of escaped domesticated pigs that went wild); and crosses between the two.

Wild boars are found throughout Asia and Europe, particularly in primary and secondary forests and along the edges of agricultural areas. Asian wild boars are smaller than their Eurasian cousins. They average around 100 kilograms. Some weigh around 50 kilograms. By contrast, Siberian boars can reach 300 kilograms.

Wild boars are omnivores that like to root and forage on the forest floor for roots, tubers, bulbs, acorns, spiders, snails, centipedes, moles, shrews, snakes, crayfish, shoots, leaves, grubs, insects, worms, crabs, fallen nuts and even frogs and poisonous snakes.

Boars tend to move along at a slow and steady pace but when disturbed are capable of running at very fast speeds. Their short legs are ideal for getting around in forests and brush but they are not very useful for getting around in deep snow.

Pigs and wild boars were traditionally forest creatures that fed on acorns. In many places they are regarded as pests. In the summer farmers often sleep in their fields to protect their crops from wild boars.

Pigs were originally tuber-eating forest and swamp creatures. They had difficulty living in the deserts of the Middle East because they don’t sweat and therefore can’t cool themselves.

When pigs were first domesticated there were vast forest areas in what is now Turkey and the Middle East. There was enough water and shade to support small number of pigs, but as population in the Middle East grew, deforestation degraded the environments best suited for the animals.

Hogs have four toes. The second and third are functional; the first and forth are situated on either sides of the foot and serve no real purpose. Pigs don’t sweat and therefore can’t cool themselves. They wallow in the mud to keep cool. This practice of wallowing, sometimes in their own feces, has given them the bum rap of being dirty, filthy animals.

Pig saliva contains pheremones such as S-alphandrosterol that communicate sexual desires. Male pigs and truffles release this steroid. Females will go to great lengths to get a whiff of the stuff which is why female pigs are such good truffle hunters.

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