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Domestic pigs and wild boars are the same animal. There's virtually no genetic difference between the pigs kept on farms and those roaming in the wild.

As I understand it we have selectively bred our domestic pigs in a similar way to how different breeds of dog are created. They were selectively bred for smaller tusks, less hair, etc...

However, I have read that when pigs go feral, they soon revert to the wild boar state.

If this was purely based on the environment and evolution I could understand. The wild traits are gradually drawn out of the domesticated pigs over generations of breeding as they are best suited for living in the wild.

I have read though that these traits come about very quickly. That the very same pigs who have escaped from a farm will grow tusks.

My question is, just how is this possible?

I have not heard of farmers trimming the tusks of pigs. Is there something weird going on in their genetics which promotes tusk growth in the presence of certain stimulae? Or have I just read something that was wrong and what actually happens is the pigs breed fast and you get 'wild boar' form pigs within a few years of escapes, albeit not the originals?

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  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to Biology.SE! That does sound somewhat fantastical — it would be very helpful if you could supply a references for the assertion that the tusks grow on recently escaped individuals and for differences in tusks between domestic and feral pigs. Thanks! 😊 $\endgroup$ – tyersome Aug 11 at 18:51

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