This Wild Pig Has Fangs That Can Pierce Its Own Skull

A male babirusa's canines are an evolutionary mystery: They never stop growing, they're too fragile to hunt or forage with, and, given time, they end up twisting and penetrating the animal's own skull!

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Picture of sunnydaze4me31 achievements

+1 1. sunnydaze4me commented 3 years ago

Somebody please call a dentist right away !
Picture of Judge-Jake52 achievements

-1 2. Judge-Jake commented 3 years ago

That's one stupid pig. The teeth curl round and eventually pierce the skull, but they don't use the teeth to fight with even though they are brittle and would probably break off stopping them piece their skull. And the females well! they have lousy taste in pork. :D
Picture of Austin42 achievements

+2 3. Austin commented 3 years ago

I remember seeing some of these critters on my travels to Indonesia.

[A male babirusa's canines] given time, they end up twisting and penetrating the animal's own skull!

The key construction here is ‘given time’. Predation and life will most likely render this feature a non-issue, like prostate cancer in many older 70 plus men (they will die of other causes before it become life threatening). Wikipedia is perhaps more accurate with this description ‘If a babirusa does not grind its tusks (achievable through regular activity), they can eventually keep growing so as to penetrate the animal's own skull’. Can eventually.

If this odd trait was such an evolutionary disadvantage this species would have died out ages ago. In fact wiki goes on to say ‘prehistoric paintings of babirusa found in caves on the island of Sulawesi in Indonesia have been dated back at least 35,400 years’ so clearly this critter has done all right for itself in spite of its tusks.