The wild boars in Guardian of Giria are Eurasian wild boars (Sus scrofa).
- Adult males are called boars, adult females are called sows and juveniles are called piglets.
- Wild boars can live up to 20 years in the wild.
- Adult females and juveniles of both sexes live together in groups called sounders. Sounders are led by an older female, known as the matriarch. There is typically around 20-30 boars in a sounder.
- Young males leave the sounder when they are about a year old. They then live together in small groups, sometimes referred to as bachelor groups.
- Older males are mainly solitary outside the breeding season. Males reach sexual maturity at about 5 years old.
- There is a considerable size difference between adult males and females, with males being up to 10% larger and 30% heavier than females. Sizes vary from region to region. In the area represented by Guardian of Giria, males average 110–130 kg (240–290 lb) in weight and 95 cm (37 in) in shoulder height, while females average 95 kg (209 lb) and 85–90 cm (33–35 in) in shoulder height.
- While both sexes have tusks, they are much more pronounced in males than females. Males also have an upper tusk, used to sharpen the larger lower tusk.
- The breeding season, known as the rut, occurs each winter between November and January. During this time, adult males attempt to mate with as many females as possible, fighting off any other males that come near their females. During the rut, males do not eat and can lose up to 20% of their body weight.
- Piglets are born between March and May. Each sow typically gives birth to a litter of 5-9 piglets. Piglets are born with stripes for camouflage, which start to fade when they are about 3 months old and which are completely gone by the time they are 8 months old. Piglets cluster together for warmth when they are sleeping.
- Wild boars are mainly crepuscular, which means they prefer to forage at dawn and dusk. However, they can be active at all times of the day and night.
- Wild boars are omnivores and will eat almost anything, including roots, grass, berries, nuts, insects, frogs and agricultural crops.
- Boar fur thickens for winter and their strong snouts and sense of smell enable them to dig for food under the snow.
- Like all pigs, wild boars are very clean and do not urinate or defecate near their bed. Even newborn piglets will move away from the sow and the other piglets to urinate.
- Like pigs, wild boars prefer clean water to mud for cooling down. However, sometimes mud works better as it sticks to their coat, keeping them cool for longer.
- The wild boar’s main predator is the grey wolf. They have also been hunted by humans for meat for thousands of years.
- When under attack, boars will fan out and then circle back around their aggressor, completely surrounding them.
- Wild boars are different from the feral pigs (hogs) of North America and Australia, where wild pigs are actually escaped domesticated pigs.
- While wild boars are widespread across the European landmass, there are no wild boars in Ireland and few in Great Britain. Wild boars are not considered extinct in Ireland as they are not native to the island, but were introduced to Ireland in the 1500s.
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