What I Am Not: Peccary / Javelina

The wide variety of animals that I can be confused with is a constant source of amazement to me. How could you humans mistake a cute animal like a capybara with some of these–let’s call them visually challenged–animals? I don’t get it. Nevertheless, it does happen and I am here to set the record straight. I am NOT a peccary or javelina or skunk hog or whatever other name you want to call these animals.

Collared peccary in Venezuela

Collared peccary in Venezuela

I’m not saying peccaries aren’t cute. They have a certain charm about them. But look at that nose! Now look at the photo of my nose.

Adorable capybara profile including nose

My profile including my adorable nose

Do they look anything alike? No.

Here are some other ways we are different:

  • Peccaries have hooves (they are in the group with even-toed hoofed animals), capybaras have webbed feet.
  • Peccaries are omnivores, capybaras are herbivores
  • Peccaries have tusks, capybaras have self-sharpening incisors
  • Peccaries live from the American Southwest, through Central America and South America, capybaras are restricted to southern Panama and eastern South America.
  • Peccaries top out at around 90 lbs, that would be a puny capybara
  • Groups of peccaries sometimes attack and kill humans, capybaras are sweet, docile animals
  • Peccaries have an unpleasant odor from a scent gland on their back, capybaras have a nose scent gland whose odor is not noticeable by humans
  • Peccaries can run up to 20 mph, no one bothers to clock capybaras because we are so slow
  • Peccaries live up to 24 years, capybaras, sadly, live only 12-14 years

Here are some ways we are similar:

  • Our overall body shape is long and narrow
  • We overlap through much of our South American ranges
  • We both have very coarse hair
  • We are about the same length and height even though capys weigh more
  • We both have small ears (although capy ears are much cuter)
  • Jaguars, crocodiles and caiman will eat capybars or peccaries

I hope that clears up any confusion you have had on this topic. Do not feel too badly, lots of people make this mistake. But look again at the nose on that peccary and my nose. Seriously, don’t confuse us again.



Collared peccary in Venezuela



Adorable capybara profile including nose




  • ペッカリーには蹄がある(偶蹄類の仲間である)が、カピバラは足に水かきがある
  • ペッカリーは雑食性だが、カピバラは草食性である
  • ペッカリーには牙があるが、カピバラには鋭い前歯がある
  • ペッカリーはアメリカの南西部から中南米に生息するが、カピバラの生息地は南パナマと南アメリカ
  • ペッカリーはせいぜい40キロ程度だが、カピバラで40キロは小さいほうである
  • ペッカリーは群れで人間を襲い、死に至らしめることもあるが、カピバラはおとなしく温厚な動物である
  • ペッカリーは背部に臭線があり不快な臭気を発するが、カピバラの鼻にある臭腺からでる臭気は、人間にはわからないものである
  • ペッカリーは時速35キロくらいで走ることができるが、カピバラは遅いので計測したデータはない
  • ペッカリーは24年くらい寿命があるが、悲しいかな、カピバラの寿命は12から14年くらいである


  • 体形が長細い
  • どちらも南アメリカに住んでいる点でオーバーラップしている
  • 体毛はごわごわしている
  • カピバラのほうが体重は重いものの、体長や体高は同じくらい
  • 耳は小さいほう(カピバラの耳のほうがかわいいけど)
  • ジャガーや、クロコダイル、カイマンなどに捕食されることがある