While some don’t eat pork, others are “friends like pigs”: is there a difference between a pig and a pig?
Pig and pig: are they the same thing?
Pork and pig refer to the same animal: sus domesticus. The word “pork” comes from the Latin “porcus”. On the other hand, the origin of the word “pig” is uncertain and its use is more recent. To talk about the meat of this animal, we use the word “pig” or “pork meat”, but not “pig”, which is reserved for the living animal.
What is the name of the male pig?
To designate a pig without distinction of sex, we simply speak of “pig”. If we want to talk about an exclusively male pig, we use the word “boar”. The pig’s female is the real one. The little one of the pig is the piglet. In pig farms, we also speak of “gilt” to designate a young female who has never had young. Young weaned pigs are called “nursers”.
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What are the differences between pork and wild boar?
The pig is descended from the wild boar (Sus scrofa). Man domesticated wild boar around 11,000 years ago. After several thousand years of selection, the domestic boar changed in appearance to become the pig we know today. Scientists must now that the domestic pig is a separate species from the wild boar. The two animals have genetic and anatomical differences. The pig has 38 chromosomes while the boar has 36. Unlike the pig, the boar has tusks and a thick coat. The domestic pig has little hair and its skin is sensitive, like that of human beings. On the other hand, the pig is more massive than the boar: its head is wider, shorter, and its groin is shorter.
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Are there different breeds of pigs?
The domestication of wild boar has given rise to different breeds of pigs: there are about 350 in the world. In France, there are 36 different breeds of pigs. Each breed has its specificities in terms of skin color, morphology and position of the ears (droopy or dressed). Among the best-known pig breeds, we can mention the Large white, the French Landrace, the Duroc or the Pietrain. The use of pigs differs according to their abilities. For example, the Large white is appreciated by breeders: it is a prolific, fast-growing pig with so-called “quality” meat. Races can also be crossed to improve certain skills. The Large white and the Landrace give true hybrids with great reproductive capacities.
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What is a wild pig?
A feral pig is a pig that has returned to the wild state. We also speak of “brown pig”. This can happen when domestic pigs escape from their enclosure. Free range pigs can breed together or mate with wild boars. Indeed, a pig and a wild boar can give birth to a hybrid, called “cochonglier” or “sanglochon”. The females resulting from these crosses are particularly fertile.
We sometimes speak of “wild pigs” to designate pigs raised in the open air. They are rather “semi-wild” pigs. This is the case of the Corsican pig (Porcu nustrale), which roams freely on the island and feeds on grasses, glands and chestnuts.
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