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Thread: How does the pig survive?

  1. #1 How does the pig survive? 
    Forum Sophomore
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    I understand that the pig survives easily because it is under the providence of a farmer (or some human care giver). But was this always the case? Did the pig evolve on the farm? There must have been a time when the pig had to live off the land, to fend for itself in the wild? But just look at the pig? What features does it have to survive and defend itself? It has no claws, it can't run very fast, it has no fangs, it can't climb trees, it has no warm fur coat, it doesn't camouflage very well, etc. How did it ever survive the menaces of the natural world?


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  3. #2  
    Forum Professor sunshinewarrior's Avatar
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    Ummm....

    I'm always wary when somebody says 'the' about anything. What do you mean by 'the' pig?

    (Apologies if this seems in bad taste - but that's the way the Nazi's started justifying the Holocaust, by talking of 'the' Jew.)

    Having got over that particular PC hurdle or whatever, pigs are even toed ungulates, and have many wild or feral relatives that show us quite how successful the porcine lifestyle can be. In the UK (and much of Europe) they are closely related to wild boars, which are, as our chronicles of hunts and hunting-related human deaths tell us, remarkably strong and agile animals and not to be trifled with. Of the European predators, in any case, only the brown bears may have been able to take them on mano-a-mano, as it were. Wolves are certainly lighter, and nothing else competes.

    In Asia and Africa, where larger predators are present, we also see porcine animals like wart-hogs, which are more than capable of defending themselves against predators like leopards, effectively not needing a flight strategy against them (if adult) because their tusks and muscular strength are enough to dissuade that size of carnivore from attack, and even to cause grave injury or death, should the carnivore be stupid and pursue the offensive.

    In short, our porcine friends, even the currently domestic ones that may go feral, are usually more than capable of looking after themselves, despite any current appearance that some may have of obese vulnerability.

    Hope this helps.

    cheer

    shanks


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    Forum Cosmic Wizard paralith's Avatar
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    Domestic pigs are not as helpless as they look. Pigs are far and above the most intelligent of the food stock animals. Pigs on a farm appear fat and slow because they live mostly sedentary lives in pens and are fed all the food they want (fatter pigs means tastier meat, after all). But even a fat pig on a farm can get going pretty fast if it really wants to.

    If let loose in the wild, domestic bred and born pigs become feral with pretty amazing speed. They grow a furry coat, their snout changes shape, males grow tusks, and the rigors of living in the wild slims them down. Most countries these days have populations of feral pigs that escaped from farms.

    Wild species of pigs are actually pretty dangerous. They are aggressive, strong, fast, and can do some serious damage with their tusks. EDIT: ah, shanks beat me to it! Nice descriptions of the wild species.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
    ~Jean-Paul Sartre
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  5. #4  
    Forum Professor sunshinewarrior's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    ah, shanks beat me to it! Nice descriptions of the wild species.
    [Doff-of-the-cap-from-Mellors-(feeling earthy)-e]
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