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The wild boar, also known as the wild pig, common wild pig, Eurasian wild pig, or simply wild pig, is a suid that is endemic to much of Eurasia and North Africa, as well as the Americas and Oceania. The species is currently one of the world’s most widely distributed mammals, as well as the most common suiform. Due to its wide range, large numbers, and adaptability to a variety of environments, it has been classified as least concern on the IUCN Red List. In parts of its imported range, it has become an invasive species. Wild boars are thought to have originated in Southeast Asia during the Early Pleistocene and expanded throughout the Old World, outcompeting other suid species.
Up to 16 subspecies have been identified as of 1990, and they are grouped into four geographical groups based on skull height and lacrimal bone length. The species is found in matriarchal groups, which are made up of interconnected females and their offspring (both male and female).
Outside of the reproductive season, fully developed males are normally alone. Except in the Far East and the Lesser Sunda Islands, where the tiger and the Komodo dragon, respectively, are the wild boar’s principal predators, the grey wolf is the wild boar’s main predator in most of its native range. For millennia, the wild boar has had a long relationship with humans, having been the progenitor of most domestic pig varieties and a big-game animal. Boars have also re-hybridized with feral pigs in recent decades, resulting in a severe pest wild animal in the Americas and Australia.
Because real wild boars were extinct in Great Britain before the creation of Modern English, the phrases true wild boar and pigs, especially huge or semi-wild ones, are frequently interchanged. The English word ‘boar’ comes from the Old English bar, which is assumed to be derived from the unknown West Germanic Boar PNGbairaz. Boar is a term that is occasionally used to refer to male domesticated pigs, particularly breeding males who have not been castrated.
‘Sow,’ the traditional female name, is derived from Old English and Germanic; it derives from Proto-Indo-European and is connected to the Latin sus and the Greek hus, as well as the New High German Sau. The young are known as piglets or boarlets.
Wild boars are thought to have originated on Southeast Asian islands such as Indonesia and the Philippines, and then moved to continental Eurasia and North Africa, according to MtDNA investigations.
The species’ oldest fossil findings date from the Early Pleistocene and originate from both Europe and Asia. S. scrofa had largely displaced the related S. strozzii, a big, presumably swamp-adapted suid ancestral to the contemporary S. verrucosus, over the Eurasian continent by the late Villafranchian, confining it to insular Asia. The bearded pig of Malacca and the adjacent islands is its closest wild cousin.