; order Artiodactyla, suborder Suiformes)
A family of omnivorous mammals that dig for roots and also eat other plant material and invertebrates. The legs are relatively short and the hair sparse and coarse. The nostrils are in a forward-facing disc at the end of the snout. The tusks, formed from the upper canines, are curved upward, and all the canines grow persistently in the male; in the female the canines have closed roots and do not grow continuously. The skull is long, and low in front. The pig family can be traced back to the initial radiation of the artiodactyls, near the Eocene– Oligocene transition, and their evolution was confined to the Old World, where they are distributed widely. They never penetrated the New World except as companions to humans. There are nine or ten species, in five genera.
Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences.