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Fast Facts:

  • While Peccaries look similar to pigs, Peccaries are classified in a family of their own because of anatomical differences.

  • The Collared Peccary is the only wild pig-like animal that is native to the United States.

  • It is also known as the Javelina due to its razor sharp tusks.

Collared Peccary

Scientific Name Pecari tajacu
Classification Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Chordata Class: Mammalia Order: Artiodactyla Family: Tayassuidae
Status Not listed.
Range From New Mexico, Arizona and Texas south to Argentina
Habitat Rainforests and deserts
Diet Agaves, prickly pears, roots, fruits, insects, worms, and reptiles
Size Length: 40-60 inches including the tail
Height: 20-24 inches
Weight: 35-60 pounds
Lifespan 10 yrs.
Print Fact Sheet Peccary

Special Features

  • The prickly pear is the ideal food for the Peccary because of its high water content.
  • Although they have poor eyesight, their hearing is excellent.
  • They are slender with long, thin legs with small hooves.
  • They have 3 toes on the hind feet.
  • The upper tusks are pointed down instead of curled like most feral pigs.
  • There is a strong, pungent musk gland on their rumps.
  • The peccary's flat cartilaginous disk at the tip of its nose is used for lifting and turning over logs and rooting in the ground in search of food.
  • They cannot evaporate moisture to prevent overheating by panting.
  • Peccaries have complex stomachs for digesting coarsely-chewed food.

Social Structure & Behavior

Usually travel in a band of 12-16. They are slow-moving casual animals unless threatened or frightened. They can run 21 mph. When attacked the male will sacrifice himself to give the young and the females time to escape.

Sexual maturity is 2 years. Gestation 140-150 days. Litter size 1-3. Dens are in hollow logs or in ground hollows. Birthing mothers retreat from the herd to prevent the newborn from being eaten by other group members. Weaned at 2-3 months

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