Differentiating Features of the Warthog from the Bushpig

Jun 18 2015

Although the warthog and bushpig both belong to the pig family, have omnivorous tendencies and sport several similarities in appearance and activity such as wallowing in mud, they also certainly have striking differences. First off, one is most likely to find them in completely different terrain. While the warthog prefers short grasslands and frequents floodplains, open areas, dry pans and waterholes, the bushpig on the other hand frequents dense thickets and riverine vegetation. This is not all, take a read below:

Warthog:  Warts are present and act as a protective bump against enemies.
Bushpig:  The bushpig does not have any warts.

Warthog: Flat back
Bushpig: A more sloping back

Warthog: A blackish mane runs down the spine to the middle of the back.
Bushpig: A whitish mane runs along the spine from neck to shoulders.

Warthog: The warthog is identifiable by their two pairs of tusks protruding from the mouth which also curve upwards. The lower pair, which is far shorter than the upper pair, becomes razor sharp by rubbing against the upper pair every time the mouth is opened and closed.
Bushpig:  The upper tusks of the bushpig are clearly visible. Lower tusks (elongated canine teeth) are large, curved and sharp. They are used mainly as a weapon against predators.

When Active:
Warthog: The warthog is diurnal, probably due to their preference of open areas and the risk of attack from large nocturnal predators.
Bushpig: The bushpig however prefers dense spaces and thus is nocturnal and forages at night

Social structure:
Warthog: They are non-territorial and live in a matriarchal group called sounders, which are made up of a female with her young. Often one will find more than one female living together with their young.The males on the other hand tend to form bachelor groups.
Bushpig: They are also non-territorial but their social structure is somewhat different. Harems led by one male are the norm. A male literally owns the females and vigorously protects the sounder, especially when they are young against foreign males.

Warthog: They are renowned for running with their tails straight up in the air. Tails are long and end with a tuft of hair.
Bushpig: They also have a thin tail that ends with tufts, however they run with their tails down.

Warthog: Warthogs are primarily grazers and drop to their knees when rooting (rooting is the behaviour of using the hard cartilaginous disc on the end of the nose to dig for food).
Bushpig:  Unlike warthogs, the bushpig does not drop to their knees when rooting.

And if you are out scouting for them, the dwelling they make for themselves are also considerably different. The warthog rests or sleeps in a burrow, which at times they line with grass, perhaps to make themselves warmer. The bushpig uses grass to build a nest shaped like a haystack. This certainly is quite a long list of differences for animals that belong to the same family.





Other Related Stories

Join the Conversation