Any of three species (family Tayassuidae) of New World even-toed ungulates resembling pigs. Found in deserts and wet tropical forests from Texas to Patagonia, peccaries are gray with white markings and have small, erect ears and almost no tail. They grow to 30–35 in. (75–90 cm) long and weigh 37–66 lb (17–30 kg). A scent gland that opens on the back and emits a strong, musky odour inspired the belief that peccaries have two navels. Peccaries have spearlike upper canines and eat plants, small animals, and carrion. They live in groups of 5–25 or 50–100, depending on the species.
Collared peccary (Tayassu tajacu).—Jen and Des Bartlett/Bruce Coleman Inc.
Variants of PECCARY
peccary or javelin
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
For the full entry on peccary, visit Britannica.com.
Seen & Heard
What made you look up peccary? Please tell us what you were reading, watching or discussing that led you here.