Most of us are familiar with Disney’s Lion King. Did you know that Pumbaa is a warthog? Yes, it’s true. Warthogs are mammals related to pigs. They live on the continent of Africa. They have an excellent sense of smell and warts on their face. Warthogs can run fast, they eat root berries and other things in their habitat. Predators include lions, leopards, and humans. Learn more about warthogs with these warthog facts for kids!
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What is a Warthog?
A warthog is a member of the pig family. They are related to domestic pigs and boars. Warthogs are mammals. Mammals are animals that have hair and give birth to their young. To learn more about mammals, click here.
A male warthog is called a boar, a female is called a sow, and a baby is called a piglet.
Warthogs are broken up into two groups: Common Warthogs and Desert Warthogs.
What do Warthogs Look Like?
Some say that warthogs are funny-looking animals. They have long, flat, broad heads and faces with big teeth called tusks sticking out the sides of their mouth.
Warthogs have a total of four tusks. They have two pairs of tusks on each side of their mouth. The upper tusks are 10-11 inches long and curve up. The upper pair 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. Their tusks are part of their canine teeth.
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 big body that resembles a pig. Warthogs have short hairs across their bodies and a mane on their backs. When a warthog feels threatened, its 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 between 110-165 pounds. Males weigh between 130-330 pounds. Desert Warthogs tend to be smaller that the common warthog.
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?
Common Warthogs live in the grasslands or open woodlands on the continent of Africa In the central, eastern, and southern parts of the country. Desert Warthogs live in Sub-Saharan African Northern Kenya and the deserts of Ethiopia.
They will find an abandoned burrow or 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 sticks out. They do this because they can use their tusks to scare off predators if any come by.
Males called boars live alone. Females called sows live in groups of up to 40 female warthogs and piglets.
Warthogs live in groups called sounders. 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 dead animals. 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 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 five to six months.
She will find a den to get comfortable and feel safe when she is ready to give birth. She will usually use an abandoned aardvark burrow or a natural burrow.
The mother warthogs give birth to a litter of 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 they are safe from predators and other dangerous things in the environment.
They will also start trying new foods at two months old, 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 leave the sounder to live with other males.
Are Warthogs Dangerous?
A warthog can be dangerous because it has sharp tusks. They are not aggressive animals and do not attack humans unless provoked. Warthogs are not good pets as they can be dangerous because of their sharp tusks. It is best not to approach a warthog in the wild.
Warthogs are not an endangered species.
Famous Warthog: Pumbaa from Disney’s Lion King is one famous warthog. He is a beloved character and one part of the famous Timon and Pumbaa duo. Timon and Pumbaa, and 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