Javelina

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Category: Animal Info Pages


peccaryThe javelina, as it affectionately known here at our club, is the animal known as the peccary.  Peccary are found as far south as Argentina, and range north through Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico..  Peccaries typically reach lengths of 3 to 5 feet, and adults can grow to weigh over 80 pounds. The peccary is also referred to as the "skunk pig" in some areas, due to the musky odor they use to mark their territory.

 

Though peccary resemble wild pigs, there are several differences which help to distinguish between the two.  Firstly, while pig and peccary both use only their two middle digits for walking, with pecarry the other toes may be absent.  Another difference is the digestive organs.  The pecarry has a non-ruminating 3-chambered stomach and no gall bladder, while the pig has a gall bladder, but a much more simple stomach.  The easiest way to tell pigs from peccary lies in the canine teeth, or tusks.  The pig's tusks grow to curve in toward itself, whereas the pecarry's remain short and straight.

 

The word “peccary” comes from the Carib word pakira or paquira.  They are domesticated, and harvested for food in much of the developing world.  Green eggs and peccary really doesn't have the same ring to it though...  

 

While the jaw and teeth of pecarry have adapted to crush small hard seeds, and to help them root, peccary are omnivores and will eat small animals when they must.  Peccary ward off predators with a chattering sound made by rubbing their tusks together, and have been known to group in herds of over 100 individuals.  These large groups have even been reported to attack and kill humans in recent years.