Large Boar Tusks
I’ll admit that ten years ago I didn’t know how much variety there was in pig teeth. When we had raised pigs as a kid we just went to finisher age of about 250 lbs. Those pigs had little tusks. 500 lb and above boars have far larger tusks of truly impressive dimensions and curvature. Contrary to the claims of some, pig’s teeth are not very much like ours. Most notably, they have beautiful, long, curved ivory tusks. Pig tusks grow continuously just like elephant tusks. This is true in both the boars and the sows.
A = Big Boar lower tusk ~11.5″ around outside edge. (~1,700 lbs)
B = Medium Boar lower tusk (~800 lbs)
C = Big Boar lower tusk
The upper tusks and the lower tusks continue to grow throughout the pig’s life. The big ones above and below are from boars. Sow tusks grow more slowly so they are noticed unless you look closely.
Extra Large Boar Tusks
Only about half the tusk is exposed outside their gums. The rest is anchored securely in their long lower jaw to give them leverage for rooting and tearing up logs, stumps and such while searching for tasty morsels.
D = Big Boar lower tusk
E = Big Sow lower tusk – notice difference in shape
F = Big Sow lower tusk
G = Big Boar lower tusk
More Pig Teeth
The pig’s wear their tusks down both by digging and by rubbing the lower tusks against the upper tusks, which sharpens them. Sometimes a tusk will wear thin at the base and then snap off out in the field. I know they are out there but we’ve never found those pieces. The teeth and tusks we have recovered come from the skulls of pigs that either died here on the farm like the very large tusks above or went to slaughter like the sow teeth and smaller boar tusk.
H = Big Boar upper tusk
I = Big Boar upper tusk
J = Young Boar lower tusk*
K = Big Sow upper tusk
L = Incisor tooth
M = Incisor tooth
N = Incisor tooth
So much variety. Each tooth is unique, varying in length, color, thickness and weight. Some have bumps, grooves and ridges. The bases of the big tusks are hollow for a surprising distance. The tooth’s pulp, the nerve tissue, is contained within the hollow. Breaking off a pig’s tooth or cutting it can be seriously painful for the pig and cause infections. Since we don’t cut tusks we get to see these wonderful long ivories.
None of the pig is wasted – We do collect sell tusks & teeth, both natural death and from the weekly market pigs.
Outdoors: 38°F/23°F Partially Sunny, Snow
Tiny Cottage: 65°F/62°F
Daily Spark: “The hurriered I go, the behinder I get”. -Ma Baker
* This might also be a young sow’s tusk, hard to tell at this stage.