For the identification of insects and other fauna and flora of South Africa: please click on the following links:
Insects and related species: Antlions - Ants - Bees - Beetles - Bugs - Butterflies, Moths and Caterpillars - Centipedes and Millipedes - Cockroaches - Crickets - Dragonflies and Damselflies - Grasshoppers and Katydids - Mantis - Stick Insects - Ticks and Mites - Wasps - Woodlice
Plants, Trees, Flowers: (Note: Unless plants fall into a specific species such as Cacti, they have been classified by their flower colour to make them easier to find) Bonsai - Cacti, Succulents, Aloes, Euplorbia - Ferns and Cycads - Flowers - Fungi, Lichen and Moss - Grass - Trees
Animals, Birds, Reptiles etc.: Animals, Birds, Fish and Crabs - Frogs - Lizards - Scorpions - Snails and Slugs - Snakes - Spiders - Tortoise, Turtles and Terrapins - Whipscorpions
Other photography: Aeroplanes - Cars and Bikes - Travel - Sunrise - Water drops/falls - Sudwala and Sterkfontein Caves etc.

Videos: YouTube

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Warthogs

Warthogs can be very vicious and there is a case on record where one ripped a leopard open with its tusks in self-defence.
Both male and female have tusks and these are kept sharp as the bottom ones continually rub against the top ones.
In times of drought and in areas where food is scarce, warthogs will dig up roots and bulbs using their tusks and noses.
Because they are so small and the grass is normally higher than them, they erect their tails when running so that the others in the family can see where the leader is going and can follow.
The warts on their faces (females have two and the males have four) are in fact growths of skin and not actual warts.
From foraging around finding food, they will develop calluses on the joints of their front knee from kneeling on the ground.
When they are attacked, they will go hind first into an old antbear hole so that their tusks point towards the opening and can thus defend themselves.
Due to the fact that they are in such close contact with the grass, they are infested with ticks and in order to get rid of them, they will wallow in a mud pool and as the mud dries, the ticks become encased in it. The warthogs then rub against a tree or rock it break the mud off and the ticks with it.
Leopard and lion are their biggest enemies although when they are still very small, they also fall prey to eagles and jackal.

32 comments:

Firefly said...

Warthogs are the most beautiful ugly animals there are.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

LOL!! I heard them described once as "the most ugly animals ever to disgrace nature". :) Poor things, they are actually quite sweet to watch!!

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Joan: Great story and photos, so fun to see such an odd animal.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

They can be comical to watch Tom especially the babies. :)

Picture Imperfect said...

How interesting! What a curiously odd creature, isn't it? I would say they fall under the "so ugly they're cute" category. ;o)

Craver Vii said...

Faces that only a mother can love.

...Maybe.

Gaelyn said...

Beauty/ugly is in the eyes of the beholder. These warthogs are amazing creatures. Wonder how aggresive they are. Your pics look closeup. Great post Joan with wonderful pics and info. Can't wait to go on safari with you. 19 days.

Linda said...

Ugly but beautiful in their own way:) It`s so funny to watch them, they move so fast! Love your pictures - again:)

troutbirder said...

Here piggy piggy piggy. Cute little rascals aren't they?

dowhatyoulove said...

Joan, What beautiful captures, and such wonderful information about them! Aww, they aren't ugly, just different. And to each other they are truely beautiful!

Natural Moments said...

Great series of pictures Joan.

Interesting methodology to removing the ticks.

I also heard that the four pads or warts on the male gives them extra cushion for when they butt heads with other hogs.

SaraG said...

Very prehistoric looking. Awesome photo's!!
Take care

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

You are right Penny, we always say they have faces only a mother could love but at the same time they are so cute. :)

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

LOL!! They remind me of myself Craver. At least I know my mother loved me. :)

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Thanks Gaelyn. You will see them up close in Kruger. I cannot wait to see your face when you see these critter for yourself. :)

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

You are welcome Linda. I am sure you saw plenty of them on your trips around SA as they are found all over. I always love watching the babies as they are so full of life and bouncy. :)

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

They sure are TB. Whenever I stop to watch them, their antics make me smile or laugh.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

:) Thanks Stacey. When I go to Kruger with Gaelyn I will pass on the message of how beautiful they are. I am sure that no one has told them before and it will do their ego good. We all need to hear good things about ourselves.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Thanks Bernie. A lot of animals including elephants and buffalo get rid of their ticks that way and then of course there are the Tick Birds which always ride on their backs getting rid of them too.

Warthogs very seldom fight except now and again over a female who is on heat. I have not hear of their warts protecting then and I would think it would not help much as they are on the side of their faces.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Thanks Sara. Great to hear from you again. Are you going to be planting lovely veggies again this year? You had what looked like a good crop last year. Hope things are great with your dad too.

Becky and Gary said...

You've got to admit. They are cute, but I remember reading one time, that they have a face only a mother could love.
Thanks for the info too.
B.

Kenneth Ramos said...

Those are the ugliest things. Can you eat them?

Andrea said...

It's so ugly that is impossible not to love it...

Rambling Woods said...

They look like me when I first get up in the morning...Interesting and scary creatures..the hogs not me. Well I guess the same could be said for me....@:D

Mary said...

Not exactly a cuddly critter, but an interesting one :-)

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

LOL!! You are right Becky!! I still love watching them though. When they get a fright and run away those tails come up like an antenna and they seem to trot off as if to say "you don't scare me". LOL!!

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Got to agree with you Ken. Yes, they are eaten and are very popular at that. They are mostly prepared on a spit but basted with a red wine sauce I believe they are delicious. I myself have not tried it.:)

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Cute hey Andrea? Have you seen the babies when they jump around like popcorn? LOL!! It is so funny to watch.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

LOL!! Now really Michelle....nothing could look as bad as them!! LOL!! Then again, I have not looked in the mirror lately. LOL!!

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

It gives new meaning to the expression "loving someone warts and all" Mary. LOL!! I wonder if this is were it comes from? LOL!!

Mingfei said...

Cool! Love the first one!

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

LOL!! Ugly but cute. :) Thanks Mingfei.