The suborder of non-ruminant artiodactyls includes the family of pork, peccaria and hippo. These are squat animals with a massive body and an elongated head, their thick skin is covered with rare hard hair (in hippos it is completely absent). In non-ruminant extremities, 4 fingers. The main load during movement falls on the 2 middle fingers, clad in hooves, the lateral fingers are higher, but quite large in size (their prints are clearly visible on the tracks of wild boars). They feed mainly on plant foods; they do not chew gum.
Representatives of the pig family (wild boars, pigs and warthogs) in the wild live in Eurasia and Africa. The largest of them are wild boars, their weight can reach 250 kg. Adult animals are brown; cubs are covered with white, red or black stripes. Wild boars have a huge head, making up almost 1/3 of the body length. It ends with a cartilaginous moving patch.
Males have fangs that bend upward, protruding from their mouths. This is a formidable weapon that they use in mating fights and fighting off predators. A wounded boar is very dangerous. Wild boars live in forests with dense undergrowth, in reed beds, in the mountains. Movable sliding fingers help them move along swampy marshy soil.
Wild boars feed on plant foods, digging up juicy underground parts of plants with a patch, pick up fallen acorns, nuts, but they do not miss the opportunity to taste meat, eating bird nests, rodent broods, like carrion. Wild boars live in herds, females with small cubs and adult males usually keep separately. The female wild boar is a very caring mother; she feeds the piglets every 3-4 hours and covers them with bedding. Sometimes, protecting offspring, females attack people. It was the boars that became the ancestors of domestic pigs.
The hippo family includes 2 species living in Africa. The common hippopotamus, or hippo, reaches a length of 4 m and a weight of 4 tons. Short limbs rest on 4 fingers with hooves connected by a membrane. The hippo’s head has almost no neck, and the ears, eyes and nostrils are on the same line, which allows the animal to sit for hours in the water, breathing air and watching what is happening around. Thick skin (in places its thickness reaches 6 cm) has special glands, they secrete a secret, thanks to which the skin does not swell in water. This secret is also released when the animal dries, for its red tint it is called "bloody sweat."
Hippos swim and dive perfectly (they can stay under water for up to 5 minutes), but on land they travel much worse. These animals look overweight and clumsy, but in their body there is little fat and a lot of powerful muscles. Hippos spend the day in the water, go out to catch on the shore at night. They are kept in herds of 6-15 individuals.
Images of hippos were preserved on the walls of ancient Egyptian temples, in ancient Rome these animals were used in gladiatorial battles. Subsequently, as a result of predatory hunting, the number of hippos decreased sharply; now in a large number of hippos survived only in African national parks.
Warthogs got their name for the fact that the faces of adult males cover numerous skin outgrowths. Their body is covered with brown stubble, forming along the back like a mane. The males have large, bent up fangs, which are used to dig up rhizomes and tubers and for defense. Warthogs live in herds in the African savannah. Shelters are burrows where they are taken by the whole family. These animals are carriers of a dangerous disease - sleeping sickness.
See also in other dictionaries:
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