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  1. #1
    Senior Member Double Naught Spy's Avatar
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    Sep 2010
    Forestburg, Montague County, Texas

    Euro Tooth Diagnostic of Hybrid or European (Russian) Hog?

    Hog hunters love to claim that the hog they shot was a Russian boar or had Russian boar traits. One such method of identification is said to make this determination possible. I came across it several months ago and have seen the information noted elsewhere too.

    To begin there is one tooth that can distinguish something about a hog. The tooth in the picture to the left is not used in the aging process. Not all hogs will have this tooth. Only Hybrid Wild Boar will have this tooth. Hybrid is a cross breed between domestic hogs and the Eurasian Hog (Russian Boar). Domestic hogs or domestic feral hogs will not have this tooth.
    Recapitulated here...
    Feral Hogs in Texas - Distribution - Aging - Recipes - Field Dressing - Meat Prep - General Info
    Feral Hogs

    This tooth is also called a "Euro tooth" by some.

    My background is in zooarchaeology. That means I identify bones, teeth, etc. recovered from archaeological sites. The specificity of the identifications I make depends on factors such as conditon and completeness of the specimens recovered and the uniqueness of these specimens for being diagnostic to a given level of identification. Recovering specimens with taxonomically specific traits are great to find, but certainly are not present on each specimen. So it was with great interest that I read about the above-described tooth stated to be diagnostic for European and European/domestic hog hybrids. You see, pigs are fairly common in historical archaeological sites and it is not unusual to find complete or mostly complete mandibles and they often still hold teeth. Historic sites are those sites that came to be after Europeans settled here in the New World.

    It would be really cool to be the first zooarchaeologist to be able to identify the earliest New World domestic/European hybrid or European wild hog. That would be a coup. In the past, I have published papers various archaeological and natural history topics. For example, I was lead author on a research note in the Texas Journal of Science for the 2nd known physical record of native elk in Texas. An additional record of the native American elk (Cervus elaphus) from north Texas.

    As I looked into this diagnostic tooth issue, the first thing I noticed was that this diagnostic trait was not noted anywhere else. Nobody in the veternary sciences, wildlife forensics, or archaeology seem to know of this trait. If nobody else knows about it, my chances for making the first such discovery increase damatically. Coming in 2nd, as in the elk paper, is like being the first loser. Confirmational observations are nice, but don't carry the same weight as being the first.

    I compared the picture identifying the diagnostic tooth with comparative hog specimens. Much to my surprise, domestic hogs certainly may and usually do have this tooth that is stated to not be present in domestic hogs. In fact, the tooth is documented in the dental formula for hogs.

    3/3 1/1 4/4 3/3

    This formula shows that the upper and lower dentition of the hog have equal numbers of permanent teeth on each side (3 incisors, 1 canine, 4 premolars, and 3 molars). The tooth in question is actually the lower first premolar which occurs in the diastema (gap) between the canine and 2nd premolar. M.J. Shively's Veterinary Anatomy: Basic, Comparative, and Clinical entitled book states this formala for domestic pig (page 381). So the claim that this tooth does not occur in domestic hogs is incorrect and so it is not a diagnostic trait of being a domestic/European hybrid or European hog.

    With that said, the tooth is not present 100% of the time in domestic pigs. I doubt it is in feral or European wild hogs either. The tooth is vestigial at this point. It is in the process of being lost by the species evolutionarily over time, not much unlike that of our wisdom teeth (3rd molars) that are not present in all humans.

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  2. #2
    Wild Hog Hunter Ponyboy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Blog Entries
    Wow....very interesting. Thanks a lot for taking the time to post that.

  3. #3
    Pro Staff outlander's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    North Texas
    That is an excellent post!! Thanks for that information!!!
    Author:Realm of the Wolf and Law of the Wolf
    Life NRA Member

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