What are Javelinas?
They are pigs, right? Like pigs, they have a snout that is a cartilaginous disc. Their eyes are small in compared to their head. Much like pigs they walk on the middle two toes, but unlike pigs, the other toes may be missing. Their stomach is a non-ruminating and made of three chambers, which is more complex than pigs.
A Javelina is a peccary, which is a medium-sized animal, with a strong resemblance to pigs, but a distant relative.
Remember that peccaries are omnivores, though their preferred food consists of roots, seeds, grasses, prickly pear cacti, fruit, and succulent plants. The shape of their tusks can help you identify pigs from peccaries. The tusks of pigs are long and curve around on themselves. The peccaries tusk is short and straight.
Where do you find them?
Peccaries are social animals and most often seen in herds. Though in this case this was a lone Javelina strolling through a neighborhood on the west side of Tucson. See the slideshow for surprise!