Although it is related to the domestic pig, the warthog is distinguished by its enormous head and the two pairs of warts the male wears on its cheeks. Standing about 65 to 84 cm (25 to 33 in.) at the shoulder, boars weigh up to 100 kg (220 lb.). Females are smaller, weighing up to 70 kg (155 lb.).
Courageous and dangerous adversaries, the huge, curved upper canines and stiletto-like lower teeth that are borne by both boars and sows are capable of inflicting serious injury even to lions; most predators prefer to avoid encounters with adult warthogs.
The warthog is a fast runner and a good swimmer. Because its body is almost hairless it often wallows in the mud as protection from the sun.
Its society is matriarchal. The sows will permit their previous offspring to remain in the natal group, although the young males will normally separate from their mothers by about 15 months old, when they will join with a band, called a "sounder", of other young males. The adult males are solitary.
Warthogs live in open country in central and southern Africa. Unlike most others in the pig family, warthogs are almost exclusively graminivorous (grass-eating) and are highly diurnal. These characteristics frequently bring them into conflict with farmers.