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Javelina are indigenous feral pigs of the south-western United States.


This shy and diminutive creature was initially categorized as a type of pig, then reclassified as a cloven-hoofed ungulate. Javelina superficially resemble a scaled-down version of the renowned capybara of South America. However, capybara belongs to order Rodentia. Unlike capybara, the javelina is NOT a rodent.

javelina image

Javelinas are curious critters


Happily, javelina were restored to their prior classification, as a type of piggy. (Ungulate no longer holds any taxonomic meaning, after lengthy debate by evolutionary biologists). According to the Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS), the taxonomy of javelina is:

  • class Mammalia,
  • order Artiodactyla,
  • family and genus Tayassuidae


Another name for the javelina is the collared peccary. This term has been in continuous use since the 18th century, particularly in English-speaking regions of the south-eastern United States and Caribbean Islands. While javelinas is acceptable for more than one, javelina is standard English usage for singular and plural forms.

In the ecosystem

Javelina were a food source during the 17th – 19th centuries (and before?) throughout most of North and South America. Some will continue to end up as meals. They are not considered an endangered species.

Javelina are mild omnivores. They occasionally munch on worms or small salamanders. Mainstays of their diet are fruit, roots, palm nuts, grass, and tubers. In more populated areas, javelina add garden plants to the menu. They will occasionally indulge in an ornamental plant or tulip bulb.

Inquisitive and oink-like

I spotted this young javelina wandering around the perimeter of a local Phoenix, Arizona zoo.

photo of javelina pig animal

View of a snout

* All images may be viewed in full-sized splendor by clicking on them directly.

Phoenix zoo in Arizona desert

Javelinas photographed here, near The Phoenix Zoo

The desert and the suburban javelina of Arizona are no different from others of their kind. They are good at sharing habitats with humans, and merely require sufficient cover for their activities.

Intended Blog Scope

As of March 2010, the themes of this blog will be

  • data-driven decision applications such as text and geo-spatial analytics, data visualization, statistical graphics, social web trends, fun with math
  • information systems and data security
  • virtual worlds such as Second Life
  • assorted curiosities observed in the natural and spiritual world
  • pigs
fresco ancienne

Horus Shows the Way

The tone will be whimsical and inquisitive.  I’m a novice to the blog world.  Patience will be necessary for the foreseeable future.

Published on 10 March 2010 at 1:47 pm  Comments (6)  

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6 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. […] pigs Horus Shows the Way […]

  2. Please, let’s pick up the Japan question offline.

    • Certainly! I would be happy to do so. I am friendly. What is your preferred venue, in order to continue discussion?

  3. […] Ides of March are past, and we head into spring. We also approach the one-year anniversary of this blog on March 21 or thereabouts, right in time for the vernal equinox. I would like to take this […]

  4. […] pigs […]

  5. Hi Ellie,

    Your “voice” sounds familiar. Did you once have a blog with melons in the name?

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