The steam boar was conceived as an idea by David Leonard, it started out as a Fire boar. I was asked to flesh out the idea of a flaming boar but add a somewhat biological twist to it. My challenge was that although it could be magical it had to be based at least somewhat in reality.
As this animal was supposed to be somewhat realistic I decided to scrap the flame idea and instead have the boar shoot out a hot caustic chemical. My inspiration for this was the various species of bombardier beetle and certain species of ants that spray formic acid as a defense. Its scaly back was based on the giant pangolin, Smutsia gigantea, as it intrigued me that a furred animal could have that fur convergently evolve into a structure analogous to the large scales more armored reptiles. The other unique feature of this animal being their webbed feat was based on Pakicetus and Andrewsarchus. Andrewsarchus being a larger hooved carnivore and Pakicetus being related but more adapted to live a semi-aquatic lifestyle its lineage eventually evolving into the Cetaceans. These aquatic adaptations in Artyodactls interested me as I wondered what I would look like if it had happened a second time in another branch. The Steam Boars large size was based off Entelodonts and the patch of blue displayed on the head of males was inspired by the bright red patch of head skin seen on the Entelodonts in the television show walking with beasts.
Their diet is mostly based off of moose (Alces alces) and extant Suidae. Their behavior was based on Hippopotamuses (Hippopotamus amphibious) and the White Rhinoceroses (Ceratotherium simum) with their poor eyesight being based on the rhinos and their extreme territoriality being based on the hippo. Their main defense mechanism is based on bombardier and formic acid spraying ants as spraying hot caustic chemicals is currently unknown to exist in mammals. Part of their defense is actually based on hippos as well since hippos are so large they need to take great care when fighting amongst one another or against predators as they can accidentally harm their offspring during the battle. The ecology, lifecycle, and relations with humans are based heavily on modern Eurasian boars (Sus scroffa) and their real-life behaviors and lifecycles.