One of the most common animals in the world is pigs. Though they have a reputation for being among the filthiest of creatures, pigs are actually quite clean. Many people assume pigs are dirty because these mammals cool themselves off by rolling around on the ground; however, when pigs are in a cool environment, they stay cleaner than one might imagine. Overall, pigs are unique animals with many fascinating traits.
Pigs have many names. Their scientific name is Sus Scrofa Scrofa, but many often call them “hogs” or “swine.” Baby pigs are called piglets and then when they are old enough to stop drinking their mom’s milk, they are called shoals.
Pigs are actually quite valuable. They provide medicines, fertilizer, glue, leather, lard, and pork. Most pigs that grow up in the United States are ‘meat-type’ pigs. This means they are consumed for their lean meat rather than used for their lard.
In the wild, pigs eat small reptiles, rodents, fruit, roots, and leaves. But on farms in the United States, they usually only eat corn. On the other hand, in Europe, farm pigs typically eat barley-based diets, like grains. Because they have poor sight, pigs rely on their sense of smell to locate food.
Pigs usually weigh about 300 to 700 pounds and can be heavier than a grand piano. On average, they are about two feet long. Despite their large stature, pigs can run up to 11 miles per hour. Usually, when someone calls someone else a pig, it is considered and insult; however, pigs are actually one of the smartest animals in the world.
Pigs are a poorly-stereotyped animal, but they deserve more credit than their reputation offers them. Between their intelligence and many uses to humans, pigs are wonderful animals with much to offer.
[Source: National Geographic Kids]