Wild life and nature of Samos, Ikaria & Fournoi

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Mammals

Eurasian Wild Boar (Sus scrofa)

Description

It is a large mammal typically being about one meter in height. It has a head to body length between 1.2 and 1.8m and an adult male weighs upwards of 300kg. There is sexual dimorphism within the species with fully grown females being approximately 2/3 the size of adult males. The canine teeth on adult males protrude upwards and are visible either side of the jaw when the mouth is closed. The upper tusks of the males are larger, hollow and act as natural whetstones to sharpen the lower tusks, both sets of tusks continually grow throughout adulthood. Wild Boar has short stocky legs and large heads. Its coat is made up of thick, short coarse dark brown hairs.

Habitat

Wild Boars are found in a wide variety of different habitats, however in Europe broadleaved and evergreen oak forests are preferred. However they are found in other habitats and can be supported in Mediterranean shrublands provided there is enough cover and water.

Diet

The Wild boar is omnivorous. They mostly eat plant matter, particularly crops, fruits, nuts, roots, and green plants. They occasionally add to this diet with bird eggs, carrion, small rodents, insects, and worms. Wild boars have reportedly preyed on small calves, lambs, and other livestock when the opportunity presents itself. They adjust their diets based on what is available, which can vary with seasons, weather conditions, and locations.

Protection status

The Wild boar is currently listed as "least concern" on the IUCN Red List. No special conservation needs at this moment.

Interesting facts

Several Greek myths use the boar as a symbol of darkness, death, and winter. One example is the story of the Adonis, who is killed by a boar and is then allowed by Zeus to depart from Hades during the spring and summer. Boars were also frequently depicted on Greek funerary monuments alongside lions, representing losers who have finally met their match, as opposed to victorious hunters such as lions.

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