Cochonglier and sanglochon result from the crossing of a pig with a wild boar. These are called hybrids. Hybrids fascinate because they lead us to think of the madness of man, capable of creating creatures that do not exist in nature. However, the cross between pig and boar is not really an unnatural folly.
The biological reality of hybrids
In animals, hybrids are the result of sexual reproduction between different races, varieties, species or genera. However, can we do anything with any animal? No of course there are limits impassable. There are a number of barriers that limit the possibilities, whether before the act of reproduction or after: genetic and morphological differences, different periods of fertility, behaviors and mating signals that are not understood between the two animals in presence, physiological rejection of spermatozoa or the developing embryo …
If man voluntarily carries out hybridizations, it is not to play the sorcerer’s apprentice – what a few isolated individuals behave like this for – but to advance our understanding of how life works, or to meet needs. identified.
Hybridization is thus common in the field of traditional horticulture or that of modern agriculture. This results in crossing wild and domesticated species to obtain species that are more beautiful, more resistant or more provided with flowers or fruits, etc. When it comes to plants, the hybrid often takes the name “cultivar”.
Next to reality, theimagination of man, she reveals herself without limit. Mythology is filled with improbable and fantastic hybrids. Here are a few examples:
- the Minotaur, with the body of a man and the head of a bull,
- the centaur, half man, half horse,
- the satyr, half-man, half-goat,
- the sphinx, with the body of a lion and the head of a man,
- the griffin, half lion, half eagle
- the Chimera, half lion, half goat, half serpent.
- The muzzle of the pig is shorter than that of the wild boar,
- The pig has no tusks,
- The skin of the pig is slightly hairy and fragile while that of the boar is very hard and covered with dense and hard hair,
- The ears of the boar are always erect, but in the pig, they can be drooping especially since it is a criterion of beauty in the competitions,
- The pig is much heavier than the wild boar,
- The number of chromosomes in pigs is debated, varying between 38 and 40 in the scientific literature. In wild boar, this number is 36.
The differences between the pig and the boar
The pig is the result of the domestication of the wild boar. Zoologists have therefore long considered that the pig was a subspecies of the wild boar. The boar being scientifically named Sus scrofa, the pig was first named Sus scrofa domesticus. But today it is classified as a species in its own right and is called Sus domesticus.
Here are some differences between the pig and the boar:
Cochonglier and sanglochon
To find your way around the names of hybrids, remember that it is the male which is mentioned first. The wild boar is therefore the result of crossing a male wild boar with a sow, the female of the pig, while the cochonglier is the result of a male pig with a sow, the female of the wild boar. The two hybrids are so close that the two terms are often considered synonyms.
Taking into account the very close proximity of the two species, the hybridization resulting from the crossing between a pig and a wild boar is easy to carry out and the babies which result from it do not present any malformations and are themselves fertile. In Corsica, the wild population of wild boars was reconstituted thanks to female pigs covered by a male wild boar, therefore thanks to the introduction of wild boars in nature.
If this type of practice is usual during times of war, in France, since 1982, the State supervises such crossings in order to preserve the genetic purity of the wild boar. However, such natural crosses are not unusual in areas where pigs are reared in the open. However, this is not without consequences: wild boars are carriers of diseases and parasites which can be transmitted to farms, running the risk of losing animals in large numbers.
But alongside natural accidents, unscrupulous breeders still resort to hybridizations because of the advantages they can derive from them. Indeed, females resulting from these crosses are more fertile and their young grow faster. Sanglochons and cochongliers are more profitable !
Wild boars in France
Since 2015, the wild boar population has continued to increase to the point of becoming too high with around 1 million individuals, according to estimates dating back to 2019. Wild boars are far from being threatened: like the food is abundant, the sows are more fertile, being able to have up to 3 litters in 2 years, and the boars are more numerous to survive the rigors of the cold. In addition, the number of young pigs per litter varies according to the weight of the sow: 2 or 3 for a sow of 30 kg and 5 or 6 for a sow of 60 kg.
More recently, hunting was interrupted because of the containment measures imposed in the context of the Covid-19 epidemic, and this even though the hunting season had been exceptionally extended throughout the month of March 2020.
Wild boars are the cause of a lot of damage, especially in cereal crops. The other problem they pose is that they venture closer and closer to cities, often with aggressive behavior.