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Last updated on April 19, 2014 at 8:32 EDT

Collared Peccary

The Collared Peccary (Tayassu tajacu), is a peccary species found in North, Central and South America. It lives in many different habitats, from the dry Sonoran Desert and Chaco eco-regions to deep rainforest to the deciduous forests. Although they are sometimes called Javelina, the term is also used to describe the other two species of peccary as well.

Collared peccaries live in groups of 1 to 20 individuals, but are most commonly found in groups of 6 to 9. They are diurnal and feed on fruits, roots, tubers, palm nuts, grasses, invertebrates and small vertebrates. At night they sleep in burrows, usually under the roots of trees. They release a strong odor, usually when alarmed, to which it is sometimes given the name “musk hog”.

In some areas of the Southwestern United States they have adapted to live around human beings and live in relative harmony with them in such areas as the suburbs of cities where there are still relatively large areas of brush and undergrowth to move through. They will defend themselves if they feel threatened but otherwise tend to ignore humans. They defend themselves with their long tusks, which sharpen themselves whenever their mouths open or close.

Collared Peccary