PLEISTOCENE PERIOD: 150,000 - 10,000 years ago
The wild boar, Sus scrofa, belongs to the Suidae Family and are artiodactyls or 'even-toed' ungulates. These mammals usually have either two or four weight-bearing toes with hooves. The "cloven hoof" appearance is characteristic of pigs, deer and cattle. Pigs evolved in the Oligocene Period, most likely in Asia and first appeared in Europe during the Miocene Period. They are omnivores and in prehistoric times, lived in a wide variety of habitats including tropical rainforests and dense woodlands.
The wild boar is a large and extremely ferocious beast that still survives today. They have a saying in the Balkans that "you take a hunter with you when you want to kill a deer but you take a priest with you when you want to kill a boar". Wild boars are fearless creatures that have been known to attack and many times, kill humans. The most impressive and dangerous weapon of the wild boar is its dagger-sharp lower tusks. Only male boars develop long canines in their lower jaws. The dramatic, curved tusks as well as the robust upper canines are continually growing and rubbing against each other thereby keeping the ends sharp at all times. Often, a boar will attack any animal in its way, swinging its massive head against the body of its unfortunate victim, repeatedly puncturing its enemy's body with swift stabs from its sharp tusks.
Wild boar prefer leafy forests and usually live in lairs hollowed out of the ground or thicket. They are predominantly nocturnal and are most active from sundown until just before sunrise. Small groups stick together with a dominant male reigning over a very large area of the forest. Modern day wild boars usually live in the wild for 8-10 years.