Pig Sus scrofa f domestica

The domestic pig was likely domesticated after cattle. It is omnivorous (as humans are), and is exceedingly intelligent. The number of domestic pigs is estimated at nearly 913 million worldwide. The only places they are not bred are in unsuitable climate areas (tropics, polar areas) and in Israel and

Islamic countries, where eating pork is forbidden by religion. The pig is bred only for its meat and fat, although leather is a secondary product.

The progenitor of the domestic animal is the wild boar (Sus scrofa), which lived in a large area from western Europe and north Africa to Southeast Asia. A range of subspecies evolved, of which two were domesticated, the European wild boar (S. s. scrofa) and the Asian banded boar (S. s. vittatus). The next two species domesticated in Southeast Asia were the Sulawesi wild boar (S. celebensis) and the Philippine warty pig (S. phiilippensis).

Wild boar domestication dates from 7000 to 6000 B.C. One of the important preconditions of this process was sedentary civilization because, unlike sheep, goats, and cattle, pigs are not able to live a nomadic life. Pig domestication occurred independently in two or maybe more places, partly because of how relatively easy pigs are to tame. The first domestic centers (6500 B.C.) were in western Asia, India, and some islands. From there, domesticated pigs were moved into China, Egypt, and farther into Africa. The second center of domestication from 5000 B.C. lies in northern Europe by the Baltic Sea. The third important area was the Mediterranean.

Domestic pigs came to the New world with European settlers. Sailors also left them on islands. Other feral populations developed in South and Central America, Australia, and New Zealand. As feral goats do, the pigs destroy specialized island fauna and flora.

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