Go hog wild with these fun pig facts.
- Pigs may roll around in mud, but they don’t do it because they’re naturally drawn to dirt. They roll in mud, also called wallowing, because they don’t have a lot of sweat glands, and since mud tends to be cool, it helps them regular their body temperature.
- Pigs really don’t like to be near their waste. One of the first things that baby pigs are taught by their mothers is to do their bathroom business as far away from their living area as possible. Another smart bathroom behavior baby pigs learn: they squeal when they need to do, to let their mothers’ know they’re going to be trotting off to the “latrine.”
- Another misconception about pigs is that they, uh, eat “like pigs.” Pigs actually like to savor their food, and eat slowly. (Animals that really do “eat like pigs,” meaning fast and sloppily: dogs and horses.)
- Animal researchers have found that pigs vocally communicate with one another. Newborn piglets learn to recognize their mother’s voice very quickly, and will come running. Scientists also can pinpoint specific sounds a mother pig makes for each of her babies. In other words, they have names.
- Mother pigs have been observed “singing” to their young while nursing.
- Pigs “root” to sniff for food, but it plays an important role in managing ecosystems. Rooting disturbs soil, which brings in oxygen and creates areas for new plants to grow. Rooting pigs also spread fruit plants by inadvertently dispersing seeds.
- Why swim with the dolphins when you can swim with the pigs? If that sounds like fun, head to Big Major Cay in the Bahamas. The island is uninhabited by humans, but is home to more than 20 wild pigs…who love to swim with humans in the clear, blue water. (The area is nicknamed, obviously, Pig Island.)