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Javalinas (Collared Peccaries)

Javalinas are medium sized hooved animals about the size of a medium dog. They have coarse salt and pepper coats, short legs and a distinctly pig-like snouts which remind people of wild boars (though they are not related to pigs). A collar of lighter colored hair rings the neck and shoulders. Both male and females have long, sharp canine teeth, the 'javelins' for which they are named.

Natural History

Javelina are common throughout the Sonoran Desert favoring saguaro-palo verde forests, and grasslands with mixed shrubs and cacti. Javelinas travel in loose groups, feeding as they move through an area. They are mainly herbivores and dig up roots and bulbs with their snouts and sharp hooves and will eat prickly pear cacti, spines and all. If the opportunity presents itself they will also eat dead birds or rodents.

Javelinas are sociable animals, traveling with the same herd their entire lives.

A javelina group is normally comprised of about 8-12 animals. They communicate with each other by scent and by using a series of low grunts. An older, experienced female leads the heard and determines when to bed down, feed, or go to water. Javelinas have no defined breeding season; the babies, usually twins, can be born any month of the year. Not many predators other than a mountain lion will attack a grown javelina, but the babies may become prey to coyotes, bobcats and other animals.

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