Feral hogs also go by the names wild swine, Eurasian wild pig, wild pig, wild hog, Razorbacks, wild boars, or feral pigs. All names describe the same animal (sus scrofa), and they are a subspecies of the domesticated pigs we eat (sus scrofa domesticus). Through thousands of years of domestication, domesticated pigs have different physical characteristics to feral boars including light skin, sparse coats, and wide heads. While scientists originally thought otherwise, it has been recently discovered that domestic pigs continued to breed with wild boars long after domestication and European pigs are actually a mix of many wild breeds, including extinct ones.
Before I go any further, it is important to define the terms I will be using in this article (because they're all being used interchangeably online right now). A boar is a tusked Eurasian pig from which all pigs descended but male pigs can also be called boars. A hog is the term for a large domesticated pig or a fully grown castrated male pig. A sow is a female pig and piglets are baby pigs. The term 'feral' refers to any animal that was domesticated and escaped (or it's ancestors did the same thing) and 'wild' refers to animals (and their ancestors) that have never been domesticated. The pigs living in America today are all feral pigs, for they descended from domesticated pigs introduced hundreds of years ago (which will be explained further below). Proceed.
Feral hogs live on every continent except Antarctica and can survive in almost any climate, but they generally prefer less extreme temperatures. They can live in many habitats, including forests, agricultural areas, swampland, grassy areas and cities. They require dense vegetation to shelter and conceal themselves in during the day, and can be active in the day and night, depending on their environment.
Feral hogs can range from 145 to 599 pounds, and from 153 to 240 cm long, with females always smaller than males. As adults, they are covered in coarse hair that can be black, brown, red or white with speckled or solid colors. They have long snouts and slim heads that act like spades to dig in the ground.
Feral hogs are sociable animals, particularly females. While the basic social unit is usually a female hog and her litter (typically 5-6 piglets), they can travel in many varied group types, with multiple families joining to form a large group, which is called a sounder. Sounders can have up to three generations of families and can consist of 30 or more hogs. Sounders of 100 or more do occur, but only when a concentrated attractant (such as food crops or water holes in dry seasons) draws them together temporarily. Feral hogs can reach speeds of 20-30 miles per hour, and can jump over obstacles 3 feet high.