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The Javelina (Dicotyles tajacu) is also known as a collared peccary, tayaussa, or musk hog. It is the only wild relative of the pig family in the United States. Javelinas are members of the Tayassuidae Family. True pigs are members of the Suidae Family.

This wild pig can be found in the brushy deserts, rocky canyons, and wastelands of the Chihuahuan and Sonoran Deserts with their territory extending from southern and central Arizona to New Mexico and south and central Texas, then spreading south into Mexico. They live in areas near water, brush and cactus, especially around the prickly pear plant. Their dens are made of hollows in the ground.

Javelinas tend to stay near permanent sources of water. Unlike coyotes and bobcats who share the same habitat, javelinas are unable to evaporate moisture through panting to prevent overheating. Therefore, during the midday heat, javelinas must rest in the shade and forage for food when it's cooler.

The adult male javelina ranges from 46 to 60 inches in length and is usually 20 to 24 inches in height. The adult male weighs between 40 and 60 pounds. It is colored a grizzled black and gray with a dark dorsal stripe, but it is lighter around the shoulders. The fur is very coarse. The javelina has an inconspicuous tail and a pig-like snout. The javelina has 2 hooves on each foot. There are four toes on the forefeet and three on the hind feet. The javelina’s upper tusks are 1.5 inches long and are pointed down rather than curled as with some other feral wild pigs. In adults there is a mane that extends down the crown of the head to the rump, which is most obvious when the javelina is excited.

Breeding occurs during any time of the year. Females usually give birth to two young after a gestation period of 145 days. The young are reddish to yellow-brown in color.

Javelinas usually travel in a band from 6 to 12 although as many as 50 have been seen together. The large groups offers them protection from predators. They are most active during early morning and evening when it is cooler.

Javelinas also have a powerful musk gland on the top of the rump. Their odor is always apparent, especially when they are excited. You may smell a javelina before you see it.

They also make a lot of noise. They grunt and squeal and be quite skittish to humans. They have been known to charge when they or their young are in danger, but under most circumstances, they will run from humans.