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Text and photos by Nick Baker, unless otherwise credited.
Copyright ゥ Ecology Asia 2020

 
 
     
   
   

 

   
   
 
Bearded Pig
   
   

Fig 1
 

Fig 2
 

Fig 3
 

Fig 4


Fig 5

 

 

 

Order : CETARTIODACTYLA
Family : Suidae
Species : Sus barbatus

Head-Body Length : Males up to 1.5 metres
Height : Males up to 0.9 metres
Tail Length : Males up to 260 cm
Weight : Males up to 120 kg
Females are smaller.

The Bearded Pig Sus barbatus is a forest inhabitant and its presence may go largely unnoticed, except at times when it crosses a forest road or, more rarely, emerges into a clearing to feed.

Though often similar in weight to the Eurasian Wild Pig, the Bearded Pig is more stocky in appearance, has somewhat longer legs and is more lumbering in its gait. Its identifying feature is the elongated head and heavy, fleshy snout with associated long facial hair. Males possess upwardly-pointing lower canine teeth which protrude from the side of the mouth.

Its natural colour varies from pale yellow-brown in adults to blackish in juveniles, but its skin may become coated in mud from its favourite wallow, thereby masking its true colour.

The Bearded Pig is active both day and night. It feeds on a variety of roots, herbs and fallen fruits as well as earthworms and other invertebrates it finds on the forest floor.

Females bear up to 11 young which are nursed in a nest built on the forest floor of sticks and shrubs.

Populations appear to be in steep decline due to over-hunting as well as loss of habitat. The species still occurs in Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra and Borneo. It is absent from Singapore.


Figs 1 and 2 : Bearded Pigs in lowland, swampy habitat.

Fig 3 : Juvenile with markedly elongated snout and well-developed beard.

Fig 4 : This wild Bearded Pig enters open grassy clearings to feed at Danum Valley, Sabah, Borneo.

Fig 5 : Pair of striped piglets in flat-lying, lowland habitat.


References : M1, M2, M3, M5