Mammal

Babirusa

Area: 
Indonesia
Habitat: 
Swamps and forests along rivers and lakes
Food: 
leaves, fruit, berries, roots, and insect larvae
Size: 
about 2 feet tall at the shoulder; 3 feet long
Babies: 
begin eating some solid food at about 10 days old; babies are not striped like other wild piglets.
Babirusa means “pig-deer” in the Malay language; this pig’s tusks remind people of deer antlers.
Tusk, Tusk!

 

What’s up with those tusksLong incisor teeth that grow outside the mouths of such animals as the elephant and walrus.? To begin with, those are special teeth that grow in the babirusa’s mouth.  The lower tusksLong incisor teeth that grow outside the mouths of such animals as the elephant and walrus. grow from the bottom jaw. The upper tusksLong incisor teeth that grow outside the mouths of such animals as the elephant and walrus. grow from upper jaw, but instead of growing downwards, like an elephant’s tusk, the tooth grows towards the sky! Males’ tusksLong incisor teeth that grow outside the mouths of such animals as the elephant and walrus. are much larger than those of females—up to one foot long.  Also, females do not have upper tusksLong incisor teeth that grow outside the mouths of such animals as the elephant and walrus... A male’s top tusksLong incisor teeth that grow outside the mouths of such animals as the elephant and walrus. are used for fighting with other males. His bottom tusksLong incisor teeth that grow outside the mouths of such animals as the elephant and walrus. are used for defense.

 

This pig’s torpedo-shaped body helps it move easily through thickets of marsh plants. They are also nimble in the water and often swim in the sea to reach small islands. Because their tusksLong incisor teeth that grow outside the mouths of such animals as the elephant and walrus. are in the way, babirusa do not use their nose to root under the ground for food like other pigs. Instead, they use their feet to dig into the dirt to uncover some of the things they eat.

 

In the past, people hunted babirusa for food. Today, they are protected by law in Indonesia, but poaching and habitatWhere an animal or plant normally lives and grows. loss threaten their future.