Keeping with our theme of island endemism this week, today's #tbt photo is of this babirusa (B. babyrussa) a type of pig endemic to the island of Sulawesi, Indonesia. This monotypic genus were, until recently considered part of a single species however now there are four confirm species. These animals are best recognised for the huge canines that grow from the heads of males. Emerging vertically the canine grow through the skin curving backwards as the teeth continue to grow towards the forehead. In extreme cases the teeth will continue growing to the point that they actually penetrate the skull, although this is very rare. #wildtropics ⠀
The striking appearance of babirusa have inspired mythology and legend in this part of Indonesia with cultures designing grotesque masks imitating the intimidating face of these unusual creatures. With the usual threats of deforestation and overhunting all living species of babirusa are either listed as vulnerable or endangered by IUCN.