Pigs are more than just sources of bacon! If anything, they are some of the most interesting animals we share the planet with. More than just swill-guzzling pink porcines, these grunting geniuses may well surprise you. Here are 17 fun facts about pigs which you may not be aware of…
- ‘Pigging out’ and ‘eating like a pig’ are misnomers. Pigs are actually very clean, slow-eating mammals. They digest all the food they eat slowly and savour the taste!
- Pigs are some of the most intelligent creatures on the planet. Studies suggest that they are smarter than dogs, and even human toddlers.
- Pigs have been around since the age of the dinosaurs. Look up the ancient entelodont, and you will find a prehistoric pig-like species that grew to be seven feet tall – just at the shoulder! They are presumed to have been incredible predators. We wouldn’t have stood a chance!
- Pigs enjoy massages! This is to such an extent that pigs will often head off to find places to massage and scratch themselves.
- Pigs can understand individual voices of others in their litter, and piglets will learn the distinct tone of their mothers’ voices from an early age.
- While pigs may seem cute and cuddly, they can actually be fairly deadly. They carry a number of parasites and diseases which can be fatal to humans. That’s one good reason why, even if clean, you should always cook pork to full temperature before eating.
- However, most pigs will not show aggression, only choosing to charge or attack if they believe that their young is being threatened.
- This goes against historical attempts to use pigs in times of warfare. However, their squeals were used to scare of larger animals, even if they posed zero physical threat.
- Did you know that pigs can swim?! There’s some famous swimming pigs that take to the sea at Exuma, Bahamas!
- Pigs cannot sweat – therefore, another phrase, ‘sweating like a pig’, is another misnomer.
- Pigs have sixteen toes in total but will only ever walk on eight of them.
- There are thought to be around two billion pigs on the planet right now.
- The average pig is thought to have a memory so vast that it can recall events from its youth.
- You can teach a pig similar tricks to that which you can teach a dog. In fact, a pig may take to learning its own name quicker than a dog!
- Providing they are fully vaccinated; pigs can make fantastic pets. That’s because they don’t shed in the same way cats and dogs do. What’s more, pigs are hairy, not furry – and therefore won’t cause any allergic reactions.
- The role of a pig is hugely important in our global ecosystem. That’s because they help to dig up and redistribute soil, and therefore giving plants new places to disperse and grow.
- You’ll likely find a pig on every single continent – except, of course, for Antarctica. The moment the lesser-spotted Antarctica pig is discovered, we’ll update this list!
Do you have any interesting or fun facts about pigs that we’ve missed? Share them here in the comments section below!
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