All about the Warthog

Warthogs are, like their cousins, plump, hooved beasts with wide nostrils at the end of the snout. According to the Animal Diversity Web, they have no hair, except for a mane that runs down the spine to the middle of the back. Their tails finish in a tuft of hair as well.


Warthogs dwell in aardvark-made dens. However, they do not fight for the holes. In general, warthogs are passive and opt for dens already abandoned to make their nests. They usually favour grasslands and savannah woodlands in Africa, these are usually open areas.


Female warthogs, or sows, are highly social and live in groups called sounders, which can include up to 40 members. Females clean each other and huddle for comfort together at night. Adult males may be territorial and are not as social. They sometimes live alone. Around dawn and the sunset hours, warthogs forage in general. They forage at night if they live in a dangerous place.


Sometimes, warthogs are seen as aggressive creatures who attack and eat prey. Currently, warthogs are herbivores, which, means they consume vegetation. Roots, fruit, bark, seeds, grass and plants are included  in the diet of a warthog. Warthogs can consume meat during periods of scarcity, but they do not hunt. They munch on dead animals as they forage, larvae or bugs that they encounter.


Female warthogs can have up to eight babies at a time, although they are typically just two or three years old, following a gestation period of around six months. Piglets are baby warthogs. They weigh between 450 and 900 grams at birth.

Young piglets live with the tone of their mum. Around 4 months old, piglets are weaned to become mature at 20 months. Females prefer to live as adults with their mother, while males tend to go out on their own. Warthogs live between 12 and 18 years.

More facts

Warthogs are able to sprint up to 48 km/h. They are helped by their speed to outrun predators. They zoom right to their dens and first enter the rear, with their tusks sticking out for extra protection from the entry.

It can stab the attacker with its tusks and strike with its sharp teeth during the occasional instances a warthog chooses to face an attacker instead of hiding in their den. Oxpeckers and other birds consume insects from their bodies and travel on warthogs. To get rid of mosquitoes and to cool off on a hot day, Warthogs will even wallow in mud. Warthogs do not have sweat glands to cool themselves, as do pigs.

Warthogs have protection on their knees. They kneel down to eat the lower grass or gobble up bugs.

Predators they fear

As an adult warthog they have to fear lions, cheetahs, leopards, hyenas, crocodiles and African wild dogs. Piglets have to fear and watch out for birds of prey.