Photo of the Day #5: Red River Hog


You might not normally think of them as artodactyls, but suids (i.e. pigs and their relatives) are another major family grouping within the order. Pictured above is one representative from Africa, the Red River Hog (Potamochoerus porcus), which lives in large groups of between 4 and 20 or so as Leopards (Panthera pardus) sometimes crave bacon. Commonly, it's often called the "Bush Pig" but shouldn't be confused with the actual Bushpig, Potamochoerus larvatus, another social swine from Africa.

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Why would you not think of suids as artiodacyls? There are very few living members of the perissodacyl order, the most familiar being horses and rhinos.

My dad shot a worthog in Africa with his bow a few years back. Got the skull cleaned; it's very nice.

I was just implying that for many people (even *gasp* myself for some time) I just thought of pigs as being pigs, separate from other groups. I just included them because the image that most immediately springs to mind when I heard the word artiodactyl is an antelope or something similar, and I figured I'd at least point out that suids belong in that group, too.

I'm trying to define artodactyls and suids so I can send your article to my granddaughters but............I can't get a definition of artodactyls on the internet. There is artiodactyls but little or no information on artodactyls. So, if you would. what is an artodactyl? And a suid since the internet thinks I mean squid or superuserid when I type suids into google......

Artiodactyls are the even-toed hoofed mammals, with two or four functional toes, as opposed to the odd-toed perissodactyls. There are more technical differences, but that's the one you're most likely to find quoted. Artiodactyls include pigs, hippos, camels, cattle and antelope, while perissodactyls include horses and rhinos.

Suids are the family of pigs - pigs, warthogs, etc.