Animals

Peccary Facts

Peccary facts on different peccary species.
Share
Tweet

What is a javelina animal? Javelina (Tayassu tajacu), also known as peccaries, are medium-sized pigs that are known to eat plants and flowers but are also believed to prey on dead birds, lizards, or other animals. They are not found worldwide but can be seen in tropical rainforests, dry thorn forests, grasslands, deserts, and woodlands, especially in Central South America and Southwestern areas of North America. They possess sharp canine teeth that protrude around an inch from the jaw. Collared peccaries (Genus Pecari) are known to resemble pigs but are different from them and are mostly herbivores, although they are kept in the category of omnivores as they sometimes feed on other small animals and insects. There are three species of peccary that have different characteristics. The three breeds are collared peccary, chacoan peccary, and white lipped peccary.

A peccary (family Tayassuidae) is also known by a variety of different names including collared peccary, baby javelina pig or javelin. Whether it be a collared peccary, chacoan peccary, or white lipped peccary, all three species are regarded as a new  world species while the pigs are considered old world species. Javelina (Tayassu tajacu) hunting is common in some forests where there are no restrictions. Read on for fun facts about the collared peccary (Pecari tajacu).

Peccary

Fact File

What do they prey on?

Lizards, dead birds, rodents, insects, small animals, and dead animals.

What do they eat?

Omnivores

Average litter size?

0-3

How much do they weigh?

35-60 lb

How long are they?

2.11-4.3 in

How tall are they?

12-20 in

What do they look like?

Medium-sized, salt and pepper-colored hair, short legs with pig-like nose

Skin Type

Fur

What are their main threats?

Hunting, humans, coyotes, jaguars, bobcats

What is their conservation status?

Least Concern

Where you'll find them

Tropical rainforest, dry thorn forest, grasslands, deserts, and woodlands

Locations

Southern United States, Central America, Northern Argentina

Kingdom

Animalia

Class

Mammalia

Scientific Name

Pecari tajacu

Family

Tayassuidae

Genus

Pecari

Peccary Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a peccary?

Peccaries even resemble pigs, but they are strictly not a part of the rodent or any of the pig families.  They are basically suited to warm and tropical regions of America, where it is also one of the most commonly found mammals in the forest. Peccaries are also believed to have evolved some 30 million years ago from their pig-like ancestors and have been pets and have been raised on farms as well in the past.

What class of animal does a peccary belong to?

A peccary is known to have three different species existing presently and belongs to the class of mammals that feed on plants, leaves, and small animals as well. All three species of collared peccary, chacoan peccary, and white lipped peccary belong to the family tayassuidae.

How many peccarys are there in the world?

It is almost impossible to estimate or find out how many peccaries there are in the world. But they are nowhere near being extinct. There are hundreds of thousands of peccaries found around the world that belong to all three different species of peccaries.

Where does a peccary live?

The species of peccaries (collared peccary, chacoan peccary, and white lipped peccary) are known to be found in different habitats and regions, including grasslands, swamplands, shrublands, tropical rainforest, mesquite deserts, and many more but are also well suited or adapted to residential neighborhoods.

What is a peccary's habitat?

A collared peccary (Tayassu tajacu) is a comparatively rare creature that is found in a huge population in parts of America, Africa, North America and South America but are rarely found in Australia and Antarctica. They occupy a massive range in the Southern United States and are known to be found in places of warm tropical regions and deserts. They prefer to live as a member of a herd, for protection against predators. The herds keep on moving around in search of greener pastures.

Who do peccary's live with?

Collared peccaries (Tayassu tajacu) are really social creatures that are known to live in groups or herds of 5-15 members and sometimes even up to 50. These herds and groups have hierarchical behavior, with a male being the head and all others are ranked according to their size. The group of peccaries or javelinas that travel and live together are known as 'squadron’. But it's not always compulsory that peccaries live with herds. They also exist individually. These groups are also suggested to be stable and rarely accept new members in their herd.

How long does a peccary live?

All the three different species of peccaries are known to have a lifespan of around 24 years in the wild, but may fall prey to predators in such forests or wild. Their life expectancy increases in captivity where they are in no danger and can extend to 30 years of age.

How do they reproduce?

Collared peccaries have no set mating period or season. The dominant male of the group or herd has all breeding rights with the females of its group. After a gestation period of five to six months, the female peccary leaves alone to give birth to one to three babies at once. A male peccary is known to reach its sexual maturity at the age of 11 months, whereas the females are known to achieve sexual maturity at the age of 14 months. They reproduce by giving birth to their young ones. The tropical peccaries are more prone to reproducing than peccaries in deserts.

What is their conservation status?

They are of least concern according to the IUCN Red List that have a stable population and are found in specific regions or habitats. They are mostly found in tropical rainforest and deserts.

Peccary Fun Facts

What do peccarys look like?

A peccary is definitely known to resemble two different animals, one is pig and other is wild boar. They have large angular heads with circular snouts and barely visible (or really small) tails. They also have large canines and are known to have lighter or white lining like a collar which describes the name ‘collared peccary’. They have canine teeth but their teeth do not grow as the upper and lower front teeth rub against each other

A peccary has a pig-like snout and live in the wild.

How cute are they?

They are cute furry creatures but they are equally dangerous as they are really big and are capable of causing serious injury to humans as well as other animals.

How do they communicate?

Peccaries are really social creatures that are known to be close to the members of their groups. They have really poor eyesight and so they use smell as a source to help communicate with one another. They communicate with one another by rubbing their bodies against one another, grooming other members of the herd, and laying close while sleeping. They also grunt, woof or bark as in order to display or express themselves to other members.

How big is a peccary?

Different species of peccaries are known to have different sizes but they usually measure less than three feet long on an average and weigh between 37-66 lb on an average based on different species among them. A collared peccary is around the same size of a medium or large dog breed.

How fast can a peccary run?

A peccary can run really fast and is also known to be able to run faster than the fastest human. Collared peccaries can run at a speed of 35 mph, that is approximately 57 km/hr.

How much does a peccary weigh?

Different species of peccaries are known to be differentiated based on their sizes. There are three different known species of peccaries which weigh around 37-66 lb on average, but it can get as heavy as around 30 kg.

What are their male and female names of the species?

There are no specific terms or names assigned to male and female species of peccaries. They are regarded as male peccary and female peccary or male collared peccary or female collared peccary.

What would you call a baby peccary?

The young ones or babies of peccaries are born all year and are usually called ‘reds’ due to their red colored hair.

What do they eat?

The food or diet requirements of a peccary varies based on the habitat they are existing in. They are usually known to consume a variety of plants, leaves, flowers, grass, fungi, roots, bulbs, and many more as a part of their diet. This composition may vary based on their habitat as in southern parts, the peccaries are more prone to eat the meat of snakes, fish, frogs, and eggs. Whereas the peccaries in deserts tend to consume agaves, and the prickly pears because of their high water content and the diet for peccaries in rainforest is largely fruit based.

Are they smelly?

Yes, they are very smelly and it has been said by humans that they can recognize or smell them even before they see a group of peccaries of javelinas. They have really strong odour that earns them the nickname of ‘skunk pigs’.

Would they make a good pet?

It is believed and known that peccaries were brought up on farms, and were even used as pets during the old times. It displays that a peccary would make a good pet if it is taken care of. They are adapted to be domesticated to live in and around human neighbourhoods. They are usually friendly as they like to play around with their owners.

Did you know...

Peccaries are unusual mammals that have four toes on their front feet and only have three toes on their back feet. They are also known for their skills to dig soil in the ground to create cool mud wallows when they run off water resources.

Collared peccaries are raised on farms, kept as pets and are even hunted in America.

Each group or squadron is known to have or cover a massive territory and display aggression while defending their territory. Touch is a really important aspect for peccaries, they are known to run their bodies against one another and exchange scents with the members of their group.

Are peccaries social?

Yes, peccaries are extremely social creatures that live and travel in groups known as squadrons. Actually, peccaries have a strong sense of smell that even helps them in communicating with one another. They are known to give off strong musky odor through a gland present on their back (because of which they are regarded as musk hog), and they rub on different rocks and trees to mark their territory through this odor.

Do peccaries have a good sense of smell?

Peccaries have a really strong sense and range of smell in their habitat. These pigs are also known for their wild capabilities to detect or find bulbs that are two to three inches below the soil’s surface or ground, which helps them in finding food and helps them to dig out water when needed, especially in summers. They have strong social relations as well and are known to live in groups called squadrons. They even identify the members of their group through their smells. And this helps them compensate for their small eyes, which come with poor eyesight.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our boar coloring pages.

Disclaimer

Disclaimer

At Kidadl we pride ourselves on offering families original ideas to make the most of time spent together at home or out and about, wherever you are in the world. We strive to recommend the very best things that are suggested by our community and are things we would do ourselves - our aim is to be the trusted friend to parents.

We try our very best, but cannot guarantee perfection. We will always aim to give you accurate information at the date of publication - however, information does change, so it’s important you do your own research, double-check and make the decision that is right for your family.

Kidadl provides inspiration to entertain and educate your children. We recognise that not all activities and ideas are appropriate and suitable for all children and families or in all circumstances. Our recommended activities are based on age but these are a guide. We recommend that these ideas are used as inspiration, that ideas are undertaken with appropriate adult supervision, and that each adult uses their own discretion and knowledge of their children to consider the safety and suitability.

Kidadl cannot accept liability for the execution of these ideas, and parental supervision is advised at all times, as safety is paramount. Anyone using the information provided by Kidadl does so at their own risk and we can not accept liability if things go wrong.

Sponsorship & Advertising Policy

Kidadl is independent and to make our service free to you the reader we are supported by advertising.

We hope you love our recommendations for products and services! What we suggest is selected independently by the Kidadl team. If you purchase using the buy now button we may earn a small commission. This does not influence our choices. Please note: prices are correct and items are available at the time the article was published.

Kidadl has a number of affiliate partners that we work with including Amazon. Please note that Kidadl is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.

We also link to other websites, but are not responsible for their content.

Read our Sponsorship & Advertising Policy
Get The Kidadl Newsletter

1,000 of inspirational ideas direct to your inbox for things to do with your kids.

Thank you! Your newsletter will be with you soon.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
No items found.
No items found.