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The Ultimate Encyclopedia

Welcome to the wonderful world of pigs!

Did you know that when a pig is happy, it will uncoil its curly tail and wag it just like a dog?
Or that feral hogs can detect odors from seven miles away?

Pigology is full of incredible pig facts, delving into the history of pigs, pig breeds around the world, famous pigs, pigs in culture, and so much more, with engaging scenes from author Daisy Bird and rising star illustrator Camilla Pintonato.

Four Amazing Pig Facts!

The Mythological Pig

Pigs are not only an important part of our daily lives, they also play a significant role in our culture. Around the world there are many myths and fables about them. Sometimes they symbolize human behavior; or they may represent an opportunity for human heroes to test their strength.

How Smart is a Pig?

The answer to that question is, pretty darn smart. In fact, they are as smart as dogs, and almost as smart as chimps, dolphins, and elephants. They are very social, they love to play, and they communicate using lots of different sounds, all of which are signs of intelligence. They also display episodic memory, which means they can recall, and learn from, their past experiences.

Let's Go for a Swim!

Here’s a fact that may surprise you—pigs can swim! In fact, they can swim very well. Like many animals, they do what we would call a dog paddle. Tirpitz was a pig who escaped from the German cruiser SMS Dresden when it was sunk during a naval battle in 1914. An hour later she was spotted swimming strongly by a sailor on HMS Glasgow. She was rescued and became the Glasgow’s mascot.

Sheng Xiao

The Chinese Zodiac has a twelve- year cycle, with each animal taking a turn. The last Year of the Pig was 2019, and before that, 2007. People born in the Year of the Pig are energetic and enthusiastic—and like being in charge.

Meet the Illustrator!

Camilla Pintonato is an author, illustrator, and graphic designer based in Venice, Italy. Her love for pigs inspired this book, but she likes drawing other animals, such as chickens, too. Her other books include Full Moon, Detective Mole, and Chickenology.

Three Fascinating Breeds of Pigs

Vietnamese Potbellied Pig

Notable features: The Vietnamese potbellied pig was bred for the marshy terrain of rice fields and, as a result, walks on all four of its toes. It is celebrated in Vietnamese folk art  and became so popular as a pet in the West that by 2011 there were more potbellied pigs in the United States than in Vietnam.

Fun fact: In Vietnam, these pigs were often kept above fishponds and fed on water hyacinths. Their droppings would fall into the water, encouraging more plants to grow as well as feeding the fish in the pond.

Ossabaw Island Hog

Notable features: Long ago, Spanish sailors exploring off the coast of North America would release pigs onto any islands they found as a future food source. The ancestors of the present Ossabaw Island hogs came from Spain during the sixteenth century and have lived on Ossabaw Island ever since, with no input from other breeds. They are, thus, living time travelers. The long-nosed, hairy Ossabaw hog is what pigs looked like five hundred years ago.

Fun fact: Ossabaw Island hogs are used to dealing with hard times and can store fat in a layer a quarter inch thick beneath their skin.

Glouchester Old Spot

Notable features: The Gloucestershire Old Spot is
probably the oldest spotted-pig breed in the world. They were also known as the cottager’s pig, noted for their calm temperament and ability to forage for themselves, and are associated with the cider-apple orchards of England’s West Country, where traditionally they have foraged on windfall apples.

Fun fact: The Gloucestershire Old Spot was the first pig breed to be awarded special status as a traditional heritage breed by the European Commission—and rightly so!

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