Monday, March 14, 2005

Animal of the Week March 14, 2005 -- Curly-coated piggywig

Hi One and All,
This week's animal is Sus scrofa (domestic pigs and wild boar). New research published in the past week suggests that, rather than being domesticated once and spread as farmers moved around, wild boar have been domesticated in at least five separate locations--from Europe, to the Near East, to southeast Asia--in the past 9000 years. Despite appearing in a great array of forms, from the miniature pigs of Vietnam and polynesia to the huge pink land-race creatures, all pigs are the same species as wild boars, with which (size allowing) they can breed quite merrily. One of my sources ( contains the following: "Not only can they [pigs] perform repetitive circus tricks, such as jumping through hoops and walking tightropes, but they can also solve simple problems such as opening a bolted door." Hands up anyone who would not pay to see a pig on a tightrope.
The pig pictured here is a Mangaliza from the central plains of Hungary. I wanted to send a picture of the now defunct breed the Lincolnshire Curly Coat, sadly the only picture I could find was too small (and I got it in the neck about the vampire finch picture last week).


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