Warthog Facts for Kids
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What is a Warthog?
A male warthog is called a boar, a female is called a sow and a baby is called a piglet.
What do Warthogs Look Like?
Some say that warthogs are funny looking animals. They have a long, flat and wide head and face with big teeth called tusks that stick out the sides of their mouth.
They have two sets of tusks on each side of their mouth. The upper tusks are 10-11 inches long and curve up. The upper tusks become dull as the warthog grows older. The lower tusks are 5 inches long and stick straight out the sides of their mouth. The lower tusks are razor sharp. They say sharp because they are covered with hard enamel.
Warthogs have wide-set eyes on their face. They have an excellent sense of smell. They use their sense of smell to find food underground. Warthogs also have an excellent sense of hearing.
Can you think of a reason why they called them warthogs? If you guessed because they have warts, you would be right. They have warts on their long face. Males have four warts and females have two.
They have a big body that resembles a pig. Warthogs have short hairs across their bodies and a mane on their backs. When a warthog feels threatened, their mane will stick up. They have thin legs.
They are between 35-59 inches long and 22-33 inches tall at the shoulder.
Females are slightly smaller than males weighing in between 110-165 pounds. Males weigh in between 130-330 pounds.
Warthogs can run up to thirty miles per hour. When warthogs run their tail sticks straight up into the air.
They spend a large part of their day rolling in the mud. Like pigs, warthogs do not have sweat glands. They roll in the mud to keep cool in the hot African sun.
Where do Warthogs Live?
Warthogs live in the grasslands or open woodlands on the continent of Africa. In the central, eastern and southern parts of the country.
They will find an abandoned burrow or find a natural burrow to call home. The burrow will protect the warthog from the hot African sun. Warthogs will sleep, raise their young and hide from predators in the burrow. Often warthogs will back into the burrow so that their face is sticking out. They do this because they can use their tusks to scare off predators is any come by.
Warthogs live in groups called a sounder. The sounder consists of a female and a male warthog and their litters. Members of the sounders eat and drink together.
What do Warthogs Eat?
Warthogs are omnivores meaning they eat meats and plants. Warthogs eat grass, fruit, tree bark, roots, plants, insects and eggs. They will sometimes eat small animals and even old dead ones. Warthogs often dig to find food. Warthogs make a grunting noise while eating.
They will kneel on their front legs to dig for food and also eat. Warthogs have leather-like patches over their knees that work like knee pads to help protect them while kneeling.
Male warthogs live alone except during mating season. When a male finds his mate he will circle and guard her. He will fight another male warthog if he comes too close to his girl.
A mother warthog is pregnant for about six months.
When she is ready to give birth she will find a den to get comfortable and feel safe. She will usually use an abandoned aardvark burrow or a natural burrow.
The mother warthogs give birth to a litter of usually three to four babies called piglets, sometimes a mother can have a litter of up to eight piglets.
Piglets are 1-2 pounds at birth. When piglets are born they are pink.
Piglets will stay in the den for a couple of days. Their mother will only leave them in the den to find and eat food. When their mother returns to the den the piglets will drink milk from their mother.
After about a week the piglets will start to come out of the den and look around. Their mother will stay close to them. Mother warthogs pay close attention to their babies. They make sure that are safe from predators and other dangerous things in the environment.
At two months old they will also start trying new foods such as plants.
Mother, father, and litter will live together for two to four years. This is called a sounder. When the males turn two they will leave the sounder to live with other males.
Warthogs are not an endangered species.
Famous Warthog: Pumbaa from Disney’s Lion King is one famous warthog. He is the beloved character and one part of the famous Timon and Pumbaa duo. Timon and Pumbaa along with Simba also sing one of the most famous songs from the movie Hakuna Matata which in Swahili means “The world is better without worries.”
Warthogs by Katherine Walden Power Kids Press
Warthog by Grace Hansen
Warthogs by Don Rothaus