The animal kingdom has many fascinating members. When we study some of these animals and learn their similarities and differences to humans, it can be interesting to know how many characteristics some animals have in common with humans. Even their differences can be fascinating.
Pigs are an example of such an animal with many similarities to humans. Maybe you would prefer not to think you have characteristics in common with a pig, but you do. Pigs are mammals, just as humans are. Female mammals carry their unborn babies inside their bellies, and pigs grow inside the sow’s belly.
Unborn human babies are called fetuses. But what about unborn baby pigs?
What are unborn pigs called? An unborn pig is called a fetal pig. That term will be familiar to most people who have taken a biology lab in school since a fetal pig is often used as the specimen cut open by students in a dissection lab.
Students can dissect the fetal pig and study its organs. The fetal pig is chosen because a pig’s and human organs have many similarities.
By dissecting the fetal pig, a biology student learns about the pig’s body and compares it to a human body.
The organs and flesh of a fetal pig are also soft and easy to cut, so dissection becomes an easy task for the student C
How Long Does Full Gestation Take for a Pig?
Gestation is the time an unborn animal takes to reach its full growth. In a pig, this is usually 115 days.
This is not taking into account complications or non-common cases.
How Is a Fetal Pig’s Age Determined?
If a pig’s caretaker wants to know the age of a fetal pig, it can be seen and measured by an ultrasound.
The age of a fetal pig is determined by measuring the animal’s length from the tip of the snout to the base of the tail.
Although the tail extends beyond the fetal pig’s body, the length of the tail is not considered in the measurement to determine the age of the fetal pig.
Fetal pig measurements are also necessary when doing a dissection lab, as the student will measure the fetal pig to determine its age.
The following measurement guide is used to determine the age of the fetal pig:
20-30 Days = 10-15mm
30-40 Days = 15-20mm
40-55 Days = 20-40mm
60-70 Days = 50-75mm
70-80 Days – 75-177 mm
80-90 Days = 177 – 227 mm
90-100 Days = 227- 279 mm
100-110 Days = 279 -355″
110-115 Days = 355 mm and larger. (8)
As you can see, the fetal pig has its most significant period of growth during the 70-90th days.
What Species Is a Fetal Pig?
All living species are classified by a classification system known as taxonomy. This system was developed in the 18th century by scientists who studied animals and their genetic similarities and differences.
Scientists realized they could help others study animals by classifying them in this way.
Here is the genetic classification of a pig:
Kingdom: Animalia – There are 6 kingdoms of living organisms. The kingdom Animalia contains all living and extinct animals. A pig is living, so it is in this kingdom.
Phylum: Chordata – There are 7 phyla that further divide animal classification. The animals in the Chordata phyla all have vertebrae (bones that make up a spinal column). Pigs have spine bones, so they are in this phyla. Other species in this phyla include dogs. Horses, birds, and humans.
Class: Mammalia – The phylum Chordata has seven animal classes. Pigs are classified in Mammalia – meaning they are mammals. The Latin word “mammal” comes from the root word “Mammalia” and refers to the mother’s breasts (mammary glands). Mammals are fed by their mothers with milk from their breasts. This is another similarity humans have with pigs.
Order: Artiodactyla – This order of animals all have even-toed hoofs. Other animals in this species include moose, giraffes, and camels.
Family Suidae – In every order there are several animal families. Families have similar anatomical features. The word “Suidae” means swine, and all members of the Suidae family have even-toed hoofs. (6) Other animals in the Suidae family include hogs, pygmy hogs, warthogs, and babirusa (sometimes called deer pigs.)
Animals are then further classified into a genus and species. This pair of characteristics get a two-word Latin name. The name is based on the animal’s characteristics. For example, humans are called homo sapiens. (Sapien refers to the human capacity to think.) The Genus and species of the pig are:
Genus: Sus – The word “sus” refers to swine. This genus includes pigs and wild pigs.
Species Scrofa (domesticata) The scrota species are all related to the wild boar. The pig was given its genus and species names by geneticist Carl Linnaeus, in 1758. The word scrofa refers to the sow (female pig.) Domesticate is considered a pig’s subspecies, meaning it has been domesticated (tamed).
“ Sus scrofa domesticata” is one of the world’s most populous types of animal.
Is a Fetal Pig a Biped or Quadruped?
Just as the fetus of a human changes shape after conception and is developed into the same body structure it will have when it is born, the body of a fetal pig develops inside the mother into the same body structure it will have as a piglet.
Humans are bipeds – since we walk on our legs and do not walk on our arms. A pig walks on all four of its legs, so it is called a quadruped. The fetal pig is also quadruped.
Conclusion: What Are Unborn Pigs Called?
An unborn pig is called a fetal pig. Fetal pigs are used for dissection by anatomy students because the pig’s anatomy is similar to that of a human.
The fetal pig reaches its full growth at 115 days. A fetal pig’s age is determined by measuring its length.
A pig’s specific and detailed genetic classification describes its type and physical characteristics.
A fetal pig has four legs since the baby pig will walk on all four legs when it is born.