Sunday, 17 February 2013


pig is any of the animals in the genus Sus, within the Suidae family of even-toed ungulates. Pigs include thedomestic pig, its ancestor the wild boar, and several other wild relatives. Young and small pigs are known as piglets. Pigs are omnivores and are highly social and intelligent animals.

Source: utilitarianism

A typical pig has a large head with a long snout which is strengthened by a special prenasal bone and by a disk of cartilage at the tip. The snout is used to dig into the soil to find food and is a very acute sense organ. There are fourhoofed toes on each trotter (foot), with the two larger central toes bearing most of the weight, but the outer two also being used in soft ground.
The dental formula of adult pigs is Upper:, lower:, giving a total of 44 teeth. The rear teeth are adapted for crushing. In the male the canine teeth form tusks, which grow continuously and are sharpened by constantly being ground against each other.


With around 1 billion individuals alive at any time, the domesticated pig is one of the most numerous large mammals on the planet.
The ancestor of the domesticated pig is the wild boar, which is one of the most numerous and widespread large mammals. Its many subspecies are native to all but the harshest climates of continental Eurasia and its islands andAfrica as well, from Ireland and India to Japan and north to Siberia. Although it has been exterminated in some areas, its numbers are stable, or even increasing rapidly, in most of its native range.
Long isolated from other pigs on the many islands of Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines, pigs have evolved into many different species, including wild boar, bearded pigs, and warty pigs. Humans have introduced pigs into Australia, North and South America, and numerous islands, either accidentally as escaped domestic pigs which have gone feral, or as wild boar. These have typically adapted well, and are increasing in number and broadening their range outside human control.

Habitat and Re-Production:
The wild pig (Sus scrofa) is able to take advantage of any forage resources. Therefore, it is able to live in virtually any productive habitat that can provide enough water to sustain large mammals such as pigs. If there is increased foraging of wild pigs in certain areas, it can cause a nutritional shortage which can cause the pig population to decrease. If the nutritional state returns to normal, the pig population will most likely rise due to the pigs' naturally increased reproduction rate.


Pigs are omnivores, which means that they consume both plants and animals. In the wild, they are foraging animals, primarily eating leaves, grasses, roots, fruits and flowers. In confinement pigs are fed mostly corn and soybean meal with a mixture of vitamins and minerals added to the diet.

Relationships with humans:

Domesticated pigs are commonly raised as livestock by farmers for meat (generally called porkhamsgammon or bacon), as well as for leather. Their bristlyhairs are also used for brushes. Some breeds of pig, such as the Asian pot-bellied pig, are kept as pets.
Pigs that are allowed to forage may be watched by swineherds. Because of their foraging abilities and excellent sense of smell, they are used to find truffles in many European countries.
Both wild and feral pigs are commonly hunted.

The genus Sus is currently considered to have 10 living species and a number of extinct species known as fossils:
  • Sus ahoenobarbus Huet, 1888 - Palawan bearded pig
  • Sus australis Han, 1987 - Early Pleistocene of China
  • Sus barbatus Müller, 1838 - Bearded pig (right photo)
  • Sus bijiashanensis Han et al, 1975 - Early Pleistocene of China
  • Sus bucculentus Heude, 1892 - Heude's Pig or Indo-Chinese (or Vietnam) warty pig
  • Sus cebifrons Heude, 1888 - Visayan warty pig
  • Sus celebensis Müller & Schlegel, 1843 - Celebes warty pig or Sulawesi warty pig
  • Sus falconeri - Pleistocene of the Siwalik region, India
  • Sus houi Qi et al, 1999 - Pleistocene of China
  • Sus hysudricus
  • Sus jiaoshanensis Zhao, 1980 - Early Pleistocene of China
  • Sus liuchengensis Han, 1987 - Early Pleistocene of China
  • Sus lydekkeri Zdansky, 1928 - Pleistocene of China
  • Sus offecinalis Koenigswald, 1933 - China
  • Sus oliveri Groves, 1997 - Oliver's warty pig or Mindoro warty pig
  • Sus peii Han, 1987 - Early Pleistocene of China
  • Sus philippensis Nehring, 1886 - Philippine warty pig
  • Sus scrofa - Wild Boar Linnaeus, 1758
  • Sus scrofa domestica Erxleben, 1777 - Domestic pig (sometimes treated as a full species)
  • Sus subtriquetra Xue, 1981
  • Sus strozzi
  • Sus verrucosus Müller, 1840 - Java warty pig
  • Sus xiaozhu Han et al, 1975 - Early Pleistocene of China
The pygmy hog, formerly Sus salvanius is now placed in the monotypic genus Porcula.

Minature Pigs:
Source: pubpages

miniature pig is a breed of pig developed and used for medical research or for use as a pet. These smaller pigs were first used for medical research in Europe before being introduced to the United States in the 1980s. Since then, the animals have been used in studies by scientists around the world, and have also risen and fallen in popularity as unusual pets.

"Teacup pigs" start out small, but do not reach their full growth until they are two to four years old, when they may weigh over 200 lbs.

Their ideal diet consists of properly manufactured food designed especially for pet pigs, according to manufacturer's recommendations. In addition, 25% of their diet should be made of fresh vegetables such as carrots, celery, peppers, and greens; while fresh fruit is also good for them it should be limited and used as treats due to the sugar content. They also need a patch of ground untreated with chemicals to graze on grass and to dig into the ground with their snout. Water should be always fresh and available.
Miniature pigs, also known as micro pigs, pocket pigs, or teacup pigs, have seen an increase in popularity in being kept as pets, especially following Paris Hilton's purchase of one in 2009. They are intelligent animals and can be house-trained. They do not shed and they tend to keep themselves clean, though they will make a mess of their living area.
Micro pigs can potentially make great pets, but there are considerably more risks involved when buying a micro pig over other common pets such as cats or dogs. The biggest concern is that, since there is no established breed of "teacup pig", there is no guarantee that the pig sold as such will actually stay small. Additionally, the majority of piglets sold as "miniature pigs" have no registered pedigree, and may not even be ofthe smaller breeds. The risk of ending up with a large pig can be somewhat minimized by looking at the pig's parents, and grandparents if possible. If they are on the smaller side, the odds are better that the pig will remain small. However, since pigs can breed years before they fully mature, unscrupulous or ignorant breeders may show off parent pigs which are not fully grown themselves, so have not reached their full adult size. Some breeders may falsely claim that a mini-pig is guaranteed to stay under a certain weight, and sometimes will recommend a diet regimen that starves the animal and unnaturally stunts its growth.
Some towns and cities have ordinances disallowing farm animals within city limits; a pig is usually considered a farm animal regardless of its size. As well, many vets will not treat pigs. Since these animals have a life span of 15 to 20 years so they will need a long term commitment to remain healthy and happy. And due to their ability to bond, combined with their need for attention, people who have limited time for a pet may find a pig far more than they can handle. Additionally, if pet pigs are not properly trained when they are young, they can become very aggressive, which means they can be dangerous, especially to children in the same household.
There are multiple animal rescue organizations set up to find care and new homes for pet pigs which have grown too large or otherwise unmanageable for their owners. In 2009, pig sanctuaries took in approximately 300,000 pigs which were surrendered by their owners, and abandoned pigs that cannot be rehomed often must be euthanized.
Source: Miniature_pig

Source: dailymail

Domestic Pigs:

Pigs have been domesticated since ancient times in the Old World. Archaeological evidence suggests that pigs were being managed in the wild in a way similar to the way they are managed by some modern New Guineans from wild boar as early as 13,000–12,700 BP in the Near East in the Tigris Basin. Remains of pigs have been dated to earlier than 11,400 BP in Cyprus that must have been introduced from the mainland which suggests domestication in the adjacent mainland by then. A separate domestication also occurred in China.
In India, pigs have been domesticated for a long time mostly in Goa and some rural areas for pig toilets. This was also done in China. Though ecologically logical as well as economical, pig toilets are waning in popularity as use of septic tanks and/or sewerage systems is increasing in rural areas.
Pigs were brought to southeastern North America from Europe by Hernando de Soto and other early Spanish explorers. Pigs are particularly valued in China and on certain oceanic islands, where their self-sufficiency allows them to be turned loose, although the practice is not without its drawbacks (see environmental impact). With managed rotational grazing techniques pigs can be raised in an environmentally sound manner on pasture much like grazing sheep, goats and cows without high grain inputs.
The domestic pig (Sus scrofa domesticus) is usually given the scientific name Sus scrofa, although some authors call it S. domesticus, reserving S. scrofa for the wild boar. It was domesticated approximately 5,000 to 7,000 years ago. Their coats are coarse and bristly. They are born brownish coloured and tend to turn more grayish coloured with age. The upper canines form sharp distinctive tusks that curve outward and upward. Compared to other artiodactyles, their head is relatively long, pointed, and free of warts. Their head and body length ranges from 0.9 to 1.8 m (35 to 71 in) and they can weigh between 50 and 350 kg (110 and 770 lb).
Pigs are intelligent and can be trained to perform numerous tasks and tricks. Recently, they have enjoyed a measure of popularity as house pets, particularly the dwarf breeds.

(Right: Swedish pigfarmer with piglet. Early 20th century)

Cultural/Religious references:

Pigs are frequently referenced in culture and religion and are a popular topic for idioms and famous quotes.

Source: Pig

Films and Literature:

  • The Learned Pig was a trained animal who appeared to be able to answer questions. It was referred to in numerous poems and cartoons.
  • In William Golding's Lord of the Flies there is a character who is nicknamed Piggy because he is obese. Additionally, the pig is used to represent Beelzebub, depicted here as a boar's head on a stick ("lord of the flies" is the direct translation of בעל זבוב, Hebrew for Beelzebub).
  • In the Saw films, the symbolism of pigs was used as a motif of an implicit theme relating to the dark side of human nature.
  • The movie Razorback is about a killer hog/razorback.
  • The famous English expression "damn pig-luck" applies when playing Minesweeper at work.
  • In the Guy Ritchie movie Snatch the, character Brick Top claims that Pigs can be used as a means for disposing dead bodies, and that is the origin of the term "As greedy as a pig".
  • The movie Layer Cake features a scene in which pigs are devouring remains of a human corpse to dispose of any possible evidence of murder
  • In the slasher/drama film Hannibal, pigs are trained to eat Hannibal Lecter, however he escapes and turns them upon his captor and a henchman, who are both gorily devoured.
  • School days with a pig (ブタがいた教室) (2008) is a Japanese film about a teacher and his class students feed up a pig and send it to the meat factory.
  • Arthur Leung's poem What the Pig Mama Says is about a pig mama's feeling about her three children being killed. It won the 3rd (global) of the Edwin Morgan International Poetry Competition 2008.
  • Heraclitus referred to the preference pigs have for mud over clean water in the Fragments.
  • In Hayao Miyazaki's animated film Spirited Away, the protagonist's parents are transformed into pigs, as punishment for eating "spirit food"; an example of their greed and gluttony. Hayao Miyazaki uses this theme to represent the consumerism and materialism he sees in modern-day Japan's society.
  • In John Boorman's film Deliverance, one of the characters is ordered at gunpoint to "squeal like a pig" as he's being raped by a mountain man.

Music, Art and Television:

  • Arnold Ziffel was a popular recurring character on the CBS television series, Green Acres. He was often portrayed as having exceptional intelligence (watching TV, going to school, engaging in conversation with most Hootervillehumans, except Oliver Douglas) and was treated as the real son of townsfolk, Fred and Doris Ziffel.
  • Porco Rosso is a porcine fighter pilot in the comic book of the same name.
  • The video game Angry Birds features green pigs as the antagonist of the birds, who are the protagonists.
  • The video game Beyond Good & Evil features an anthropomorphic pig named Pey'j as one of the main characters.
  • The video game Hogs of War is based upon World War I but instead features anthropomorphic pigs with human characteristics than actual people.
  • In The Legend of Zelda series, the main antagonist, Ganon, has the ability to transform into a pig or boar-like deity, a metaphor for his thirst for power and greed.
  • Mervis, a pig who has various misfortunes, is one of CatDog's best friends in CatDog, voiced by John Kassir.
  • In the manga Naruto, Tsunade has a pet pig named Tonton. Tonton has the ability to track other things by her sensitive sense of smell.
  • In the video game Mother 3 the primary antagonist Porky Minch is referred to as the Pig King, and leads the Pig Mask Army.
  • The Dark Lord Chuckles the Silly Piggy from the cartoon series Dave the Barbarian is an evil pig with a high-collared cape (and equally high voice) bent on ruling Udrogoth.
  • In the popular manga and anime series Ranma 1/2, the character Ryoga Hibiki suffers from a curse which causes him to transform into a black piglet nicknamed "P-chan" when splashed with cold water.

Babe; the film:

Babe is a 1995 comedy-drama film, co-written and directed by Chris Noonan. It is an adaptation of Dick King-Smith's 1983 novel The Sheep-Pig, also known as Babe: The Gallant Pig in the USA, which tells the story of a pig who wants to be a sheepdog. The main animal characters are played by a combination of real and animatronic pigs andBorder Collies.
Source: Babe

"Famous Pigs":
As you may well know already, we have a healthy obsession with pigs… who doesn’t? And there’s nothing we enjoy more than seeing the porkers thrive in society and make it pig… I mean Big. So we have compiled a list of the Top Ten Famous Pigs! If you have any additions or feel we have overlooked a more famous piggy, let us know!
1. Porky Pig
The “Godfather” of famous pigs, Porky was born from the Warner Brother’s Studios farm of talented animators and has thrived on our screens for over 70 years! Its hard not to love the little chubby porker and his infamous stammer, that’s why this little piggy went straight to number 1!
2. Miss Piggy
Everybody knows the most famous of famous pigs – the feisty starlet girlfriend of Kermit the Frog from the Muppets! This little beauty is more of a Diva than Naomi Campbell, Madonna and J. Lo put together and surely is too much pork for one frog to handle! Nevertheless she deserves the fame of being Number 2 on our star studded list!
3. Piglet
Winnie the Pooh’s best friend piglet is another of our famous pigs its hard not to love. Despite the fact that he’s a tiny guy with a generally timid disposition, he often conquers his fears with his determination to be brave. Piglet is most teenage girls favourite character, and with those little chubby cheeks who wouldn’t?
4. Babe
Who’s heartstrings haven’t been tugged by the courageous and honourable Babe, the sensitive-souled little pig who wanted to become a sheepdog! The ultimate under-“dog” who showed those sheep a thing or two, any pig with sheepherding talents definitely deserves a spot in our Top 10.
5. Pumbaa
A worldwide favourite from the Lion King, his name means “careless”, and couldn’t be more apt. This distinguished icon of famous pigs is one of Disney’s most beloved characters, admired for his comical antics and musical skills. Although he takes offence to being called a pig, i’m sure he would be proud to make it into our Top 10 most famous pigs… if not he’s definitely in the Top 1 of Warthogs!
6. 3 Little Pigs (Original)
Of all the world’s famous pigs, these three must rank amongst the most re-known! Published versions of the story date back to the late 18th century, but the story is thought to be much older. The Three Little Pigs story was made more popular thanks to Walt Disney in a 1933 animated cartoon, where Mother Pig sends her three little piglets out into the pond to make the strongest house for the family but they get into a fight so they all make three different houses. We all know what ensued!
7. Wilbur (Charlotte’s Web)
How could you not fall in love with “Zuckerman’s Famous Pig” after watching Charlotte’s Web? When Fern Arable (Dakota Fanning) learns that her father plans to kill the runt of a litter of newborn pigs, she successfully begs him to spare the piglet’s life. The farmer gives the tiny pig to Fern, who names him Wilbur and raises him as her pet. To Fern’s regret, when Wilbur grows into an adult pig, she is forced to take him to the Zuckerman farm, where he is to be prepared as dinner in due time. Charlotte, a spider, lives in the space above Wilbur’s sty in the Zuckermans’ barn; she befriends Wilbur and decides to help prevent him from being eaten. She convinces the family that Wilbur is actually quite special, by spelling out descriptions of him in her web: “Some pig”, “Terrific”, “Radiant” and “Humble”. And we agree, He’s Some Pig!
8. 3 Little pigs from Shrek
Everyone one loves a Bratwurst or good authentic German sausage (no pun intended), but these three German piggies steel the show in the much loved Shrek franchise (..well for us anyway). Their 5 seconds of fame has more puns than you can dream of, like “pigs in blanket” from the Shrek the halls, and will keep them as one of the most memorable characters from the films. These little piggies is good ya!
9. Hamm (Toy Story)
Hamm is a witty talking ceramic piggy bank with a “belly-ring” made of cork who keeps losing his change. The voice of Hamm in the movies is performed by John Ratzenberger, best known for his role as Cliff the neurotic postman of “Cheers” fame. This piggy is a banker at No.9!
10. Percy Pigs (M&S)
This form of confectionary from “Your M&S” is filled with sweet pink goodness. Most pigs are dubbed filthy, and this sweet is so tasty it makes you feel like your doing the dirt on your diet. Great for elevens’, “my M&S” would be stocked with nothing but the juicy little wonders. Their trotter licking good!
Source: piggy