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.

6 comments to What I Am Not: Peccary / Javelina

  • I can’t believe anybody thought you were a peccary. You are WAY cuter.

  • Meow_Girls/Kathy

    We DO NOT know how anyone could confuse you two. Bad enough with the Vatican fish thing. And now this! You are so sweet. We are glad to know you.

  • Teresa Moore

    You are WAAAAY cuter!!!!

  • I am simply baffled when people become so ignorant to such specific and OBVIOUS details. There is very little resemblence between you and that Peccary. I would rather hug and cuddle with you any day.

  • Martin

    Not only is a capy such a unique creature that I have trouble understanding how they could be confused with any other species – but I especially don’t get how people can deem you a tapir or a peccary (which are both pretty non-cute, non-furry animals – and thus quite the opposite of a capy)

  • Angie

    How could that possibly happen? I see NO resemblance! I would happily kiss you all over your beautiful face, but a Peccary…um…yeah…not so much.

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