Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Desert Warthog

The desert warthog is also known as the Somali warthog and is one of two warthog species (the other is the common warthog). It is found in southeastern Ethiopia, western Somalia and central and eastern Kenya. Recently, as it has started to be studied a little more closely, they have found that the range has been extending south to Tsavo West National Park and north towards Melka Mari National Park. One of the prime protected areas for it is Buffalo Springs National Park and Shaba National Reserve (which basically connect to each other), areas where we saw it and one of the few areas where it appears together with the common warthog.  
Desert warthog in Buffalo Springs NR. Photo by Mark Edwards.
Closer view shows the hooked wart below the eye, the non-pointed ear and the blonde mane. 
The following are the most visible differences between the two species (desert vs. common): (1) more rectangular ears with flipped back ear tips vs. pointed ears; (2) hooked (down-curved) warts below and to the side of the eyes vs. cone-shaped warts; (3) wide nose pad vs. narrower nose pad; (4) less curved tusks vs. more curved tusks; (5) paler mane, tending toward blonde vs. a darker mane; and (6) a prominent bony ridge below the eye vs. no bony ridge

In Buffalo Springs or Shaba NR. Photo by Michael Lewin.

Wide nose-pad, bony ridge below eye, hooked (although not prominently) warts and non-pointed ears. 

Different angle on the same animal. 

1 comment:

  1. I've seen some ugly animals in your post, but he takes the prize! He is spectacular!