What is in a Warthog's Diet?

Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images

The warthog (Phacochoerus africanus) is a relative of the domestic pig that is native to the sub-Saharan region of Africa, from Ethiopia and Zimbabe to Gabon, South Africa and beyond. These mostly herbivorous animals are generally dark brown or black in coloration. As their names convey, their heads are topped by many defensive lumps that are reminiscent of warts.

General Warthog Information

These African residents are generally found in dry and damp savanna settings. They also frequently live in grasslands, scrublands, open bushlands and woodlands. When it comes to living environments, warthogs stay far away from tall mountains, deserts and rainforests. It is also uncommon for warthogs to reside in steppes and in thickets. The typical weight range for these animals is between 110 and 330 pounds, and female warthogs are usually between 15 and 20 percent smaller than the males, according to Animal Diversity Web of the University of Michigan.

Basic Warthog Diet

Warthogs are grazers, and the bulk of what they eat is grass. Grass certainly isn't the only thing these robust creatures eat, however. They also frequently eat berries, fruit, bulbs, tubers and young and tender bark. Occasionally, warthogs also feed on crops from agricultural sites.

Carrion and Worms

Warthogs are mainly herbivorous animals, in spite of their rather imposing physical appearance -- tusks and all. Once in a while, warthogs consume decaying and rotting animal carcasses. In the rainy season, they also occasionally eat tiny invertebrates such as earthworms, as well.

Bones, Dirt and Animal Stool

For purposes of retrieving mineral value, warthogs also sometimes eat dirt and bones. To attain nitrogen, warthogs also occasionally feed on the stools of herbivorous animals -- think rhinoceroses, francolins, waterbucks and African buffaloes. They also sometimes eat their own stools for the same reason.

Warthogs and Hydration

Warthogs are capable of surviving for a long time without drinking H20 -- even a few months at a time, indicates National Geographic. In times of excessive dryness, warthogs can attain hydration through consumption of bulbs and rhizomes. If water is plentiful, however, warthogs often make good use of it -- immersing their entire bodies in it in to feel cooler.

Captive Environment Diets

Warthogs that live in captivity often eat diets that include grain pellets, alfalfa hay, grass hay, herbivore cubes, broccoli, sweet potatoes, squash, bananas, endive lettuce, carrots and yams.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images