At any given time there are around one billion pigs in the world; that's one for every seven of us. And where would we be without them? Prolific, ubiquitous, smart, adaptable, able to turn garbage into good-quality protein just by eating it, pigs have been our companions since neolithic days when they obligingly domesticated themselves, coming in out if the wild to truffle around our waste pits.
It's not all about the bacon: the resourceful pig, now reformatted in micro packages, has developed a whole new career as a portable pet. And thanks to the recent genome mapping we now know that pig physiology is remarkably similar to our own.
The Pig: A Natural History covers evolution from prehistoric wild boar to placid porker; anatomy, biology and behaviour; the pig's contribution to our lives; and the high profile of this remarkable beast in popular culture.