Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, North American Mammals
Search the Archive

  Artiodactyla · Tayassuidae · Pecari tajacu
  Smithsonian Institution
  Copyright Notice
  Privacy Notice
Pecari tajacu

Collared Peccary

Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Tayassuidae

Image of Pecari tajacu
Pecari tajacu - inset shows group at waterhole
Click to enlarge. (105 kb)

Conservation Status: Least Concern.

There are only three species of Peccaries in the world, all in South America. Only Collared Peccaries also live in North America. Their range includes a great variety of habitats, and they eat all kind of vegetation, including cactus. They live in highly social and communicative groups. Grooming is an important social behavior, and they have at least 15 different types of calls signaling alarm, submission, and aggression. Territorial groups of 15-50 animals stay together, and cooperate to defend the herd, but they form subgroups that disperse to feed. An alpha male is the dominant animal in the herd. Peccaries often have twins.

Also known as:

Sexual Dimorphism:

Range: 0.85-1.02 m

Range: 15-25 kg


Linnaeus, C., 1758.  Systema Naturae per regna tria naturae, secundum classis, ordines, genera, species cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis, Tenth Edition, Laurentii Salvii, Stockholm, 1:50, 824 pp.


Mammal Species of the World

Distribution of Pecari tajacu

Image of Pecari tajacu
Click to enlarge. (99kb)

Skull of Pecari tajacu
Click to enlarge. (21kb)