To get a better look at the black-and-white photo, follow the link, then open the image in a seperate tab as it's much larger than as shown embedded in the page. Please make a tax-deductible donation if you value independent science communication, collaboration, participation, and open access. It's unlikely that the tusks bend significantly, i.e. In the first part of this series, I told you that allergies are the result of an immune response against an external, but normally not harmful substance. They might even have found the correct lower jaw and restored it in place of an ill-fitting previous stand-in. This causes the lower tusk to grow eventually in a complete circle, or even two or more, and makes the boar immensely valuable in the local economy. The Babirusa. This really is the end. Presumably this originated from seeing the results of accidental injury. Commiserations, Darren. Privacy statement. Re-running the Babirusa series was an awesome move. http://zoonooz.sandiegozoo.org/2016/09/21/first-ever-sulawesi-babirusa-figlets-…. Famously, people on Celebes once supposed that babirusas hung from trees with their tusks, and then stayed there in wait for passing females. The wild population of babirusas is estimated to be less than 10,000. Is this definitely a different skull from skull 1? If they are not worn down or broken off during fights with other males, they will penetrate the skin and begin curving back toward the animal’s forehead. Like many pigs, the male babirusa’s canine teeth will continue to grow throughout its entire life as long as there is a blood supply—a lot like our fingernails and our hair. Of course, that wouldn't excuse making the replacement canines larger than the original were. All rights reserved. The roots look exposed on the lower canines in the color photos, is it possible that they have just been dislocated a bit from the alveoli? As an argument against them being the same, I note that the mental (?) This seems to be the one 'fact' about babirusas that everyone knows, as it's mentioned in just about every article, paper and book that discusses them. This again is a curious parallel with deer, in particular Sambar. I hid his comment - with his permission - because I wanted to save the surprise for a dedicated article. The following airs here in the UK tonight (Thursday 30th June 2011), Channel 4. Don't drain the swamp. I wonder if it's possible that the animals have physical behaviors that actually change the direction of tusk growth, perhaps shoving them against a solid tree or rock. The babirusa is listed as Vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species, due to poaching and habitat loss. These clumps are actually amazing, dense collections…, A friend of mine; serial entrepreneur, and former president of Genetic Systems; Joe Ashley, told me once that starting a business is an unnatural act. Geometrically they wouldn't be a danger in this way, but perhaps an old individual could have suffered malnutrition from being unable to open its mouth wide enough to eat comfortably?). North Sulawesi babirusa B.celebensis 47, all in the US, between them there have been 15 births in the last 12 months. Thank Your Orbitofrontal Cortex, Death Rates For Hospitalized COVID–19 Patients Fall 18%, Paper Posits That Daily Solar Radiation Is A Key Factor In Epidemics, Oncotarget: Heterogeneity of CEACAM5 in breast cancer, AI helps detect brain aneurysms on CT angiography, Continuity of English primary care has worsened with GP expansions, Oncotarget: Predictive biomarkers in Trop-2-expressing triple-negative breast cancer, Warming of 2°C would release billions of tonnes of soil carbon. They are a dull gray or brownish in color and appear naked or hairless. I remember old paper that tusk wear suggests that males of one subspecies lock tusks and pull, but another - butt frontally. The lower canine is normal in position and anatomy, it's just that it becomes particularly long during growth, overlapping the outside edge of the snout as it grows. We are part of Science 2.0, a science education nonprofit operating under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Nitpick: Mohr (1960) claims that a female babirusa kept at Hamburg Zoo (which, coincidentally, also died in 1920) reached an age of 24 years. To repeat some of what I wrote previously: The Gothenburg Museum of Natural History (Göteborgs Naturhistoriska Museum, GNM) has quite a lot of interesting things online, but you need to know Swedish to search them out. The babirusa has been called \"a wild pig with a dental problem.\" They have remarkable tusks or canine teeth that can grow right up through the skin in their snout and curve back toward their forehead. The word babirusa means pig deer in the Malay language, as their wild-growing tusks are reminiscent of deer antlers. ScienceBlogs is a registered trademark of Science 2.0, a science media nonprofit operating under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Further to that, the adductor crests on the parietal seem to be closer together in skull 2, maybe forming a sagittal crest posteriorly, and the tusk-hole is adjacent to the crest rather than (as in skull 1) distinctly medial to it. Of course! Even the most elaborate antlers - like forked ones by deer - actually have pointed ends which are fatal if aimed at soft body. I once read that giant forest hogs are mainly (completely?) ScienceBlogs is where scientists communicate directly with the public. On reflection, I would accept that they just substituted a more photogenic lower jaw without ill intent. There was rapturous applause, swooning, the delight of millions. We are part of Science 2.0, a science education nonprofit operating under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. In the wild, male babirusas tend to live in solitary or in bachelor herds of two to three males, while females can be found in groups of up to eight individuals with young. Many years ago I saw a picture of the skull of some rodent whose upper and lower incisors for some reason failed to occlude properly, and so weren't normally worn down. If you compare the small holes in each skull, you can see that they don't match. It's harder to see the similarity in the bottom photo. On the other hand, I don't think that a choice to show off by substituting a mandible with larger tusks can be ruled out. As far as this being fatal, it does certainly look (in both 1 and 2) like that tusk was long enough to pierce the dura of the brain, which is exceptionally bad news for the babirusa. What Is the Babirusa Tusk Death? So my blog works again, here are the pathological boar-tusks: http://bestiarium.kryptozoologie.net/artikel/massive-zahnanomalien-bei-…. Of course this is pathological, and would not happen via natural selection, but only by selective pressure by humans who probably found such extremely curved tusks nice to make jewelry of it. I hope. So it should be simple enough to measure, and find out if that's a smooth logarithmic spiral (so the tooth can be modelled like a regular snail shell or ram's horn) or if distinct inflections are present. That natural history museum is fantastic, particularly the blue whale with the upholstered couches inside its body cavity. Now that I've done it, I agree. Paul Irven (1996) wrote that captive babirusas are 'sensitive and responsive ... with an endearing character'. You can also shop using Amazon Smile and though you pay nothing more we get a tiny something. (babirusas, part VIII), In the previous articles we looked at the distribution and phylogenetic position of babirusas, and also at a bit of their behaviour, biology and morphology. Apart from my general dislike for the replacement of long-standing foreign placenames, hearing anglophones try and pronounce "GÃ¶teborg" is painful. On being presented with an area of soft sand, captive babirusas (mostly males) have been noted to kneel down and push their head and chest…, In the previous articles we looked at the distribution and phylogenetic position of babirusas, and also at a bit of their behaviour, biology and morphology. It seems reasonable, until a babirusa tussle is observed. I've been in Romania and Hungary where I had a great time - saw lots of neat animals (fossil and living) and hung out with some neat people. I'll talk about some of this…, Yet more from that book project (see the owl article for the back-story, and the hornbill article for another of the book's sections). Meru, our four-year-old male north Sulawesi babirusa, somehow cracked his upper left tusk earlier this year. Spinning out of control until you fall down…, What's with the bizarre curving tusks? As we'll see later, spiralling upper canines of this sort are not present in all kinds of babirusas.