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Thanks to Pumba from Lion King, the funniest cartoon animal, the common warthog is one of the best-known African animals. But except for their distinctive tusks and warty face, what do we really know about them?

We compiled 5 surprising facts you might not know about them

1. Warthogs don’t really have “warts”

The name Warthog (Phacochoerus Africanus) comes from the ‘warts’ on the sides of their face. ⁣

They are in fact protrusions, made of bone and cartilage, acting as padding to protect their face during fights.⁣

2. Warthogs eat on their knees

Warthogs “kneel” down to feed. Their short necks, long legs  and the special protective pads on their wrists/knees allow them to eat lower grasses easily.

3. Warthogs have tusks

Warthogs have 2 pairs of tusks (enlarged canine teeth) used for digging, fighting with rivals and defending themselves against predators. ⁣

They have long been used as an alternative to ivory in ornamental carving.

4. Warthogs run tail-up

When startled or threatened, warthogs are surprisingly fast and can run up to 48 km/h. Interesting feature, they run tail-up to be able to follow each other despite the long grass where their body is difficult to spot.

5. Warthogs sleep underground

Warthogs often take over abandoned underground dens to hide at night. They usually back in, rear end first to be ready to protect themselves in case of intrusion.

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