Summer is here and it is time to beat the heat! Did you know that pigs don’t sweat? That’s why they like to lay in the mud! Throughout history, pigs have gotten a bad rap. People have long misunderstood their behavior, seeing it as dirty. In actuality, pigs take cleanliness seriously.
Pigs, like many other mammals, have very few sweat glands and keep cool through other methods — mainly lying in mud. When they cover their bodies in mud, their body heat makes the water evaporate. Muddy water evaporates faster than clean water, allowing the pig to cool down for longer. Furthermore, when the mud dries on their skin, it acts as a sunscreen and insect repellent. Then after a while, they scrape the dried mud off, which helps remove ticks and other bugs.
Pigs also like to keep their food clean. Researchers studying wild boars at Switzerland’s Basel Zoo gave them apple slices covered in sand. The boars took the dirty apples to a stream of water in their enclosure and rinsed them off before eating. It’s high time we set aside our preconceived notions of these animals and appreciate their ingenuity.