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The 3 most common non-hunting related questions we get about Javelina

Typical Javelina). Photo By CK Rairden.

Are Javelina related to Pigs?

Yes, well kind of. Javelina (collared peccaries), and pigs (swine) are members of the order Artiodactyla, suborder Suiformes, sharing a common ancestry dating back some 30 million years. But, because of significant anatomical and genetic differences they, have been placed in separate families - pigs in the Suidae family and Javelina in the Tayassuidae.

Tayassuids are pig-like animals that are found in the southwestern United States, south to central Argentina. All species have contrasting areas of white or yellowish fur on their chests, backs, or faces. Each of the three species is currently placed in its own genus: Catagonus wagneri, Pecari tajacu and Tayassu pecari. Tayassuids are known in the fossil record from all continents except Antarctica and Australia.

Are Javelina related to rodents (like a big rat)?

No! Javelina are not related to rodents other than they are both mammals. Rodents are in a completely different family order.

So what or who is their closest relative?

Javelina belong to the suborder Suina with pigs and hippopotamuses being their closest relatives.


The Order of Artiodactyla comprises ten families, totaling almost 200 species.


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Last modified: Wednesday July 11, 2012.