Hold Your Nose … We’re After Some Javelina!

This is an example of Ugly, Smelly and Hairy all meeting in one animal!

A Little History

Although pigs and javelina are in the same order of mammals, they diverged

Newborns are 1 lb. bundles of red-brown or tan hair, with a dark strip down the back.

“about 38 million years ago:  pigs evolved in the Old World, peccaries in the New World.” *

Believe it or not, the collared peccary (or javelina – pronounced have-ah-LEE-nah) comes from South America.

Over thousands of years, they worked their way northward into North America.

Eventually, they settled in the warmer areas of North America.  Why?  Because they cannot survive cold!

It wasn’t until the 1700’s that javelinas showed up in the records — of Arizona.

All the Attributes Nobody Wants!

Unfortunately for these little piglings, after 3 months as a “cute” child, they emerge as an ugly mini-adult stinker.

Here’s a description of this strange animal:  He has a large head, skinny, short legs with rather small feet.  His hair is wiry, like a hairbrush’s bristles.

At birth, he is born with a mane of dark hairs (that grow to about 6″) that starts between his ears and runs along the spine to the tail.

When frightened or startled, the peccary’s mane stands on end and he looks fearsome!

Staying Cool During Seasonal Changes

The collared peccary is a fashionista — always changing into a new and better coat.  From November to almost March, the adults wear their dark coat.

In the spring, they shed that fur coat — some even go bald on their hips and hind-ends.  They are pale and blend in with their surroundings – usually very hot summers in parched regions.  However, the dark mane always stays on the animal.

By September, the javelina is growing a thicker winter coat; however, he has no undercoat.  Because he cannot survive a harsh winter, he does not venture into cold climates.  Most javelina live in the dry areas of Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.

Pigling Births

Peccary births can happen throughout the year, however most occur in the summer and fall, when there is plenty to eat.

One or two piglings are born after a 5 month pregnancy.  This is in sharp contrast to the large litter of piglets born to swine.

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* Quote from:  Javelinas, by Lauray Yule, 2004, Rio Nuevo Publishers, p. 7.

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Next Time:  Well, I haven’t even gotten to their stink glands, what they eat, their lives in the herd, or hunting tips! Bummer!  

Come back for more exciting adventures with these stinky little beasts!

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Photo used through the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License of Wikipedia

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This blog is a companion to my website:  GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com

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Published in: on May 25, 2011 at 12:02 am  Comments (1)  
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