What Are the Special Features of Babirusa?

Leia Smith | 07 - 10 - 2023

Babirusa is a wild pig species belonging to the family Suidae. It has been referred to as “a Wild pig with a dental problem.” Most wild pigs exist in rainforests of Indonesian islands. It has canine teeth or tusks which develop through the snout and curl back towards the forehead. It features a barrel-shaped body balanced on slender deer-like legs and oddly twisted tusks. Babirusa can weigh up to 220 pounds (100 kg)

Among the four species of babirusa, the naked-looking babirusa dwells in Sulawesi. The other kinds of Babirusa vary in color from white to creamy gold to black and brown. Read on to know the interesting facts about Babirusa. 

Interesting Facts about Babirusa

Babirusa Means Deer-Pig or Pig-Deer

Which family does the babirusa belong to?
  • A. Suidae
  • B. Giraffidae
  • C. Rhincodon typus
  • D. Panthera leo

The term Babirusa means pig deer in the Malay language. It is an assumption that the people of Sulawesi may have named it based on its resemblance to antlers. The name also reflects some distinct features of the slender deer-like legs and pig-like attributes.

Babirusa Tusks Could Raise through the Skull

Babirusa is famous for its incredible tusks. The curling tusks grow only for males. The male Babirusa’s canine teeth constantly grow their entire life. The long canine teeth extend over the edge of Babirusa’s snout as they grow. Fascinatingly, the upper canine teeth start growing downward then rotate and grow by penetrating through the top of the skin and curling back towards the head. Also, the tusk can enlarge up to 17 inches and grow backwards through the skull.

Babirusa’s Unusual Snacking

Babirusa is known for its strange eating habits. They snack on dirt and rocks. Since it’s an omnivore it eats leaves, fruits, berries, fish, insects, and small mammals. With the help of the hooves, it digs up the root and larvae in the ground.

Female Babirusa Features Small or No Tusks

While male babirusa tusks have the unique ability to grow upwards, it should be noted that female babirusas have relatively small tusks that do not actually grow through the snout.

Babirusa – Inspiration for Demons

The illustrations of demons in Indonesia look like Babirusa. This made some researchers conclude that their existence in the dark jungle may have influenced the myth and superstitions.

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