Peccary, a mammal of the hog family, and genus dicotyles (Cuv.), peculiar to America. In this genus the incisors are 4/6; the canines (1-1)/(1-1), not projecting beyond the lips as in the wild boar, but very much as in other mammals, small, triangular, and very sharp, the upper ones directed straight downward; the molars (6-6)/(6-6), tuberculate; the fore feet are four-toed, and the hind ones three-toed, the outer accessory hoof being wanting; a mere tubercle in place of a tail; according to Cuvier, the metacarpals and metatarsals of the two longest toes on all the feet are united as in ruminants, but this Van der Hoeven says is far from being always the case. On the back, a few inches from the tail, in both sexes, concealed partly by the hair, is a gland which secretes a very fetid fluid; this bears a rude resemblance to a navel, and the generic name was derived from it, from Peccary 1300126 , double, and Peccary 1300127 , cavity. The head is broad, pointed, and rather large in proportion to the body; the ears moderate and pointed, the eyes small, the snout blunt, the legs thin and slender, and the skin covered with close, very stiff and sharp bristles. The collared peccary or Mexican hog (D. torquatus, F. Cuv.) is about 3 1/4 ft. in the male from snout to root of tail, the female being a little smaller; it is shorter but more compact than the domesticated hog; the hair is ringed with black and white, rather long, lightest at the tip; from each shoulder runs a more or less distinct white collar on each side of the neck. They usually go in couples or in small parties of eight or ten, and not so often in large herds as the next species; they prefer woods and swampy grounds, but wander wherever food is abundant, even into the enclosures of the planter, where they often commit great havoc; when attacked by wild beasts or by man, a herd will form a circle, with the young in the centre, and repel even the jaguar with their sharp teeth, in this way often killing dogs and severely wounding the hunter.

The food consists of nuts, fruits, seeds, grain, roots, and whatever living thing they can find on or under the ground; they are omnivorous, though less carnivorous than the domestic hog; the flesh is white and tender, more like that of the hare than the hog, and with very little fat; when the animal is killed, it is necessary at once to cut out the dorsal gland, else the whole flesh would be tainted by its secretion. They live in holes in trees or in the ground, or in any cavity which affords shelter; they are often very bold, and attack men without provocation; a dog unaccustomed to hunting them is at once surrounded and killed. This species is found in Mexico and in the United States as far as the Red river in Arkansas, in lat. 31°, probably as far west as California, and in South America as far as Paraguay in lat. 27° S. When taken young they are easily domesticated, but do not mix or breed with the common hog; they bring forth only once a year, and one or two at a birth; they are rather sensitive to cold, and easily irritated, and manifest pleasure by a hog-like grunt.

The white-lipped peccary (D. labiatus, Cuv.) is of a general blackish color, with the lower jaw white; it is larger than the last, living in solitary forests in large troops, and is hunted by the natives for its flesh; it is found in South America, but does not associate with the other species. Travellers speak of a variety or perhaps a distinct species in Honduras, of a dirty black color with long tangled hair, going in large herds and very ferocious when attacked; this goes by the name of warree.

Collared Peccary (Dicotyles torquatus).

Collared Peccary (Dicotyles torquatus).