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Warthogs



Warthogs
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 3 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   6.96

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    admit, dissuade, extremely, head-on, hyena, shovel-shaped, sounder, sounders, unattractive-looking, unavoidable, wart-like, warthogs, upright, residence, occasionally, violent


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Warthogs   

1     Let's admit it! Warthogs are perhaps one of the most unattractive animals on Earth! First, their heads seem too large for their bodies. Second, there are two or three pairs of wart-like bumps on their flat, shovel-shaped faces. Third, four tusks protrude from their jaws. Fourth, while warthogs have sparse hair on their brown skin, they have long manes extending from the top of their heads to the middle of their backs. Well, warthogs do look rather strange or downright ugly to some people, but they are very interesting.
 
2     Living on African savannahs, warthogs are the only pig species that can live in places where absence of water during the dry season can last for a couple of months a year! Adding to their uniqueness is the fact that warthogs are also the only pig species that graze grasses. When warthogs are hungry, they kneel on their padded front knees to nip off short grass or to dig bulbs, roots, and tubers with their snouts and tusks. Occasionally, warthogs eat carrion (dead animals), too. Warthogs look tougher and meaner than they actually are. If threatened, warthogs most likely choose to flee from the scene rather than challenge their enemies. When warthogs are on the run, they hold their tails upright like an antenna.
 
3     Warthogs are active during the daytime. As night falls, they return to their underground homes or burrows. Although warthogs have sharp tusks that they can use to excavate their own burrows, they prefer not to. Usually, they find burrows left by other animals and move right in. Among all the choices they have, they like aardvarks' burrows the best! Warthogs are very cautious when they enter or exit their homes. When warthogs are about to reach home, they slowly back up into their burrow with their heads facing outward. That way they can detect any impending danger, such as a lion or hyena hidden nearby. When warthogs are ready to leave their burrows, they rush out at their top speed (about 30 miles per hour). They get a running start on any predators that may be lurking nearby.

Paragraphs 4 to 5:
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