Babirusa - Babyrousa babyrussa

The Babirusa, Babyrousa babyrussa (Artiodactyla - Suidae), is a wild pig with curly tusks found only in the northern peninsula, central and south-eastern parts of the Sulawesi mainland, and from three of the larger Togian Islands Archipelago.

B. b. celebensis (pictured) is certainly known only from Sulawesi, including the offshore island of Lembeh. This is the only of four subspecies to be maintained in captivity at the present time and is therefore the most familiar.

This subspecies is usually considered to be naked, though in reality its body hair is merely short, sparse and dark brown in color over gray skin. The upper canines of the males are generally long and thick, and the alveoli vertically implanted, so that upper canine emerges vertically and is not crossed by the lower canine, converging in almost all cases.

These omnivorous animals inhabit tropical rain forest on the banks of rivers and ponds abounding in water plants. They are currently classified as Vulnerable species on the IUCN Red List.

Other common names: Buru Babirusa, Hairy Babirusa, Deer Hog, Babiroussa.

References: [1] - [2]

Photo credit: ©Jean Philippe Delobelle | Locality: captive (Singapore Zoo) - 2008

Babyrousa babyrussa

Why so gloomy, babirusa? Is it because Evolution gave you some weird extra tusks that are ugly, useless, too brittle to fight with, and may eventually grow so long that they curve around and fatally puncture your skull? Could that be it?

Credit: From WTF, Evolution?! - Workman Publishing. Babirusa, (Babyrousa babyrussa).Photo © Danita Delimont/Alamy

Buru Babirusa

Babyrousa babyrussa

Both Babyrousa and babyrussa refer to babirusa, which is Indonesian for pig-deer.

Family: Suidae (Pig Family)

Fun Fact: “They are swift runners, and often swim in the sea to reach offshore islands.” (ADW)

Habitat: They are endemic to rainforests of Buru, Indonesia.

Ecosystem Role: They eat fruit, fungus, and leaves of plants (acting as seed and possibly spore dispersers).