Friday, November 22, 2013

Creature Feature #38: Babirusa

This handsome looking beast belongs to a Genus of pigs found in Indonesia. Like most pigs, he is omnivourous, using his tusks and snout to  forage for fruits, roots, leaves and anything delicious he might come across. Unlike other pigs, he lacks a rostral bone in his snout and cannot dig in the same manner. Also, his tusks are particularly unusual. The upper pair originate from his upper canines, curling upwards through the flesh and curving back towards his skull. The low canines are likewise elongated and slot in neatly against the upper.  The upper tusks are used for defense, the lower for offense.

Male babirusa lead a solitary existence, whereas the females and their offspring gather together in groups of up to 84 individuals, with no adult males.

Like most rainforest species, he is threatened by poaching and deforestation.

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