'What looks like a pig, barks like a dog, purrs like a cat, stinks like a skunk, chatters like a rattlesnake, and bites like a badger? The collared peccary, better known in the Southwest as the javelina...[This] is the best, most concise work available' - "Santa Fe New Mexican". 'Illustrated with outstanding pictures of javelinas at work and play' - "McAllen Monitor". The javelina, or collared peccary, is the only peccary species native to the United States and is as much a part of the Southwestern landscape as the roadrunner, armadillo, and horned lizard. Its name is likely derived from the Spanish word for javelin, referring to the animals sharp tusks. Javelinas are mentioned in documents dating back to the seventeenth century, when their range was somewhat larger. Very distantly related to the pig family, javelinas may be found in Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico, where they feast on one of their favorite foods, the prickly pear cactus. Living in herds numbering up to fifty animals, javelinas are generally said to be nearsighted and shy, although they are beginning to turn up as pests in some suburban areas.
Due to a dorsal scent gland, you are likely to smell a javelina before you see it. With colorful and endearing illustrations of this misunderstood animal, Jane Manasters natural and cultural history of the javelina is a must for any fan of the little pig of the Southwest. A freelance writer and geographer, Jane Manaster lives in Austin, Texas. She is the author of several works, including "Horned Lizards" (Texas Tech 2002).