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Collared peccary

Collared peccary
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Tayassuidae
Genus: Pecari
Species: P. tajacu
Binomial name
Pecari tajacu
(Linnaeus, 1758)
Synonyms

Tayassu tajacu
Dicotyles tajacu

The collared peccary (Pecari tajacu) is a species of mammal in the family Tayassuidae found in North, Central, and South America. They are commonly referred to as javelina, saíno or báquiro, although these terms are also used to describe other species in the family. The species is also known as the musk hog, Mexican hog, and javelina. In Trinidad, it is colloquially known as quenk.

Although somewhat related to the pigs and frequently referred to as one, this species and the other peccaries are no longer classified in the pig family, Suidae.

Contents

  • Description 1
  • Range and habitat 2
  • Diet 3
  • Behaviour 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

Description

Dentition, as illustrated in Knight's Sketches in Natural History

The collared peccary stands around 510–610 millimetres (20–24 in) tall at the shoulder and is about 1.0–1.5 m (3 ft 3 in–4 ft 11 in) long. It weighs between 16 and 27 kg (35 and 60 lb).[2] The dental formula is as followed: 2/3,1/1,3/3,3/3.[3] The collared peccary has small tusks that point toward the ground when the animal is upright. It also has slender legs with a robust or stocky body. The tail is often hidden in the coarse fur of the peccary.[4]

Range and habitat

A herd of collared peccaries seen by a fixed camera in Scottsdale, Arizona.

The collared peccary is a widespread creature found throughout much of the tropical and subtropical Americas, ranging from the Southwestern United States to northern Argentina in South America. The only Caribbean island where it is native, however, is Trinidad, although introduced populations exist in Cuba, Bahamas, Jamaica, Hispaniola and Puerto Rico.[5] It inhabits deserts and xeric shrublands, tropical and subtropical grasslands, savannas, and shrublands, flooded grasslands and savannas, tropical and subtropical dry broadleaf forests, and several other habitats, as well. In addition, it is well adapted to habitats shared by humans, merely requiring sufficient cover; they can be found in cities and agricultural land throughout their range, where they consume garden plants. Notable populations are known to exist in the suburbs of Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona.[6][7]

Diet

Collared peccaries normally feed on cactus, mesquite beans, fruits, roots, tubers, palm nuts, grasses, invertebrates, and small vertebrates. In areas inhabited by humans, they will also consume cultivated crops and ornamental plants, such as tulip bulbs.[6][7]

Behaviour

Running collared peccary

Collared peccaries are diurnal creatures that live in groups of up to 50 individuals, averaging between six and 9 members. They frequently sleep at night in burrows, often under the roots of trees, but sometimes they can be found in caves or under logs.[4] The collared peccary (javelina) are not totally diurnal. In central Arizona they are often active at night but less so during daytime.

Although they usually ignore humans, they will react if they feel threatened. They defend themselves with their long tusks, which can sharpen themselves whenever their mouths open or close. A collared peccary will release a strong musk or give a sharp bark if it is alarmed.[4]

References

  1. ^ Gongora, J., Reyna-Hurtado, R., Beck, H., Taber, A., Altrichter, M. & Keuroghlian, A. (2011). "Pecari tajacu".   Database entry includes a brief justification of why this species is of least concern.
  2. ^ "Collared Peccary: Javelina ~ Tayaussa ~ Musk Hog". Digital West Media Inc. Retrieved 8 January 2012. 
  3. ^ Reid, Fiona (2006). Peterson Field Guide: Mammals of North America (4th ed.). New York, NY: Houghton Mifflin Company. p. 158.  
  4. ^ a b c Reid, Fiona (2006). Peterson Field Guide: Mammals of North America (4th ed.). New York, NY: Houghton Mifflin Company. p. 488.  
  5. ^ Long, J. L. (2003). Introduced Mammals of the World: Their History, Distribution and Influence. Csiro Publishing, Collingwood, Australia. ISBN 9780643099166
  6. ^ a b Friederici, Peter (August–September 1998). "Winners and Losers". National Wildlife Magazine ( 
  7. ^ a b Sowls, Lyle K. (1997). Javelinas and Other Peccaries: Their Biology, Management, and Use (2 ed.).  

External links

  • Pecari tajacuSmithsonian Institution - North American Mammals:
  • Pecari tajacuSmithsonian Wild:
  • Arizona Game and Fish Department – Living With Javelina
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