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Collared Peccary
Conservation status
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 that is found in North, Central, and South America. They are commonly referred to as javelina, although this term is also used to describe other species in the family. The species is also known as the musk hog and Mexican hog.

Although somewhat related and frequently referred to as one, this species, as with other types of peccaries is no longer classified in the family Suidae, commonly known as pigs. In Trinidad, it is colloquially known as Quenk.

Contents

Description

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Range and habitat

The Collared Peccary is a widespread creature that can be 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 it is native to, however, is Trinidad, although introduced populations exist in Cuba. 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, the Collared Peccary 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 will add human garden plants to their menu. Notable populations are known to exist in the suburbs of Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona.[2][3]

Diet

Collared Peccaries normally feed on fruits, roots, tubers, palm nuts, grasses, invertebrates and small vertebrates. In areas inhabited by humans, however, they will also consume cultivated crops and ornamental plants such as tulip bulbs.[2][3]

Collared Peccary444.jpg

Behavior

Collared peccaries are diurnal creatures that live in groups of one to 20 individuals, averaging between six and nine members. They frequently sleep at night in burrows, often under the roots of trees.

Although they usually ignore humans, collared peccaries 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 also release a strong musk if it's alarmed.

References

  1. ^ Beck, H., Taber, A., Altrichter, M., Keuroghlian, A. & Reyna, R. (2008). Pecari tajacu. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Downloaded on April 2009. Database entry includes a brief justification of why this species is of least concern.
  2. ^ a b Friederici, Peter (August/September 1998). "Winners and Losers". National Wildlife Magazine (National Wildlife Federation) 36 (5). http://www.nationalwildlife.org/nationalwildlife/article.cfm?articleID=308&issueID=19.  
  3. ^ a b Sowls, Lyle K. (1997). Javelinas and Other Peccaries: Their Biology, Management, and Use (2 ed.). Texas A&M University Press. pp. 61–68. ISBN 9780890967171. http://books.google.com/books?id=g3-kkgAxxnoC&client=firefox-a.  

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