The Ancestors to our domestic pigs, wild boar have long bodies with short legs and a large head on a short neck. Their coat is made of short, bristly hairs and is dark or brindled, although the young are tan with distinctive pale stripes. The snout is prominent, the tail short but tassled, and the ears large and hairy.
Size: 90–180cm long with a tail of 30–40cm and weighing between 50 and 150kg.
Life-span: 15–20 years
Food: Omnivorous, rooting in litter for roots, nuts, fungi, small animals and carrion.
Behaviour: Adult males are solitary, but females form groups, including their young, called sounders. They communicate constantly using sounds, smell and visual signals such as the position of the ears and tail. Wild boar are active during the day and evening.
Reproduction: Males and females become sexually mature at 18 months, although males may only mate when they reach a certain size and dominance, often around 4 years old. Mating takes place in the autumn after fights between the males to establish dominance. There are many courtship rituals before a receptive female will allow a male to mate, including the production of a salivary foam by the male which may contain pheromones from a lip gland.
The young are born after a gestation of 115 days in a nest of vegetation built by the mother, each piglet having its own teat. They are weaned after about 3 months but the piglets will remain with their mother until she gives birth again. The females may continue to live in their mother's sounder until it becomes too large and splits up.