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Learn more about artiodactyls from the


  1. paraxonic limb structure--even-toed ungulates [Fig. 19.1D-G]
  2. double-pulley astragalus [Fig. 19.1H]
  3. 10 living families, 220 species of terrestrial artiodactyls [Fig. 19.11]
  4. Molecular and fossil evidence shows that whales (Cetacea) are artiodactyls [Fig. 19.9]. 
  5. perissodactyls and artiodactyls from Dr. Monte L.Thies, Sam Houston State University, with a good discussion of cursorial and feeding adaptations and African Grazing Succession.
  6. Cursorial locomotion

Suborder Suina


  1. unfused metapodials [Fig. 19.1D]
  2. bunodont cheek teeth
  3. tusk-like canines [Fig. 19.12]
  4. simple, non-ruminating, 2-3 chambered stomach
    1. Suidae have a pouch near the cardiac orifice (the upper opening) of the stomach. In the Tayassuidae, the stomach is more complicated.  In the Hippopotamidae, the stomach is divided into four compartments, and have bacterial fermentation.  Hippopotamuses have lost the cecum. (Encyclopedia Brittanica)

Family Suidae--swine: pigs, hogs, [fig 19.12]

  1. Ethiopian, Palearctic, Oriental, Australian [Sulawasi]
  2. stocky, barrel-shaped body; short limbs
  3. canines directed upward and outward
  4. skull long and low
  5. snout elongate and flattened at end
  6. two chambered stomach, cecal fermentation
  7. omnivorous: feed on fungi, roots, eggs, small vertebrates, carrion
  8. 5 genera, 16 species

Sus scrofa - feral hog
photograph © 2001 by 
Dr. Allan H. Chaney, used with permission

Phacochoerus africanus -Common warthog
Kruger National Park, South Africa.
photograph � 2009 by 
Seth Witcher, used with permission

Family Tayassuidae javelinas or peccaries

  1. Neotropical (central Argentina), Nearctic (southwestern U.S.)
  2. Catagonus wagneri, the Chacoan peccary; Tayassu pecari, the white-lipped peccary, and Pecari tajacu, the collared peccary.
  3. upper canines directed downward; skull with a flat dorsal profile
  4. 4 toes on front feet, usually 3 on rear (Catagonus has two)
  5. metatarsals fused proximally
  6. fewer tail vertebrae than suids
  7. two to three chambered stomach.  Collared peccaries have a unique digestive system (Shively et al., 1985, Journal of Wildlife Management 49: 729-732).  Allen (1984) suggested bacteria digest the cellulose in the three chambered stomach. 
  8. rump gland used in social communication
  9. gregarious--populations typically 5-15; Tayassu up to several 100
  10. The name javelina is derived from the Spanish jabalina, feminine of jabal�, wild boar, not the Spanish for javelin or spear.  Peccary is derived from the Cariban (an American Indian group of  northern South America, the Lesser Antilles, and the eastern coast of Central America.) name for this animal (from  Languagehat).

Pecari tajacu [Fig. 17-9] is our mascot.   

photograph � 2001 by Dr. Allan H. Chaney,
 used with permission

  1. It took this university nine years after being informed to use the correct scientific name  for the collared peccary (see Theimer and Keim  1998).

  2. The most recent molecular study suggests that collared peccaries may represent two distinct species.  If substantiated, then the North and Central American collared peccary would be named Pecari angulatus. (Gongora,, J. S. Morales, J. E. Bernal and C. Moran 2006.  Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 41:1-11)

  3. This misbegotten excrescence of a werepig is not a javelina.
  4. I am unsure of what this is as well, perhaps a hog badger?.


Family Hippopotamidae--hippopotamus

  1. Ethiopian
  2. mouth very large
  3. incisors large, tusk like (especially inner lower incisors)
  4. canines large, tusk-like (lower canines much larger than upper)
  5. amphibious: nostrils and eyes at top of skull [Fig. 19.13]
  6. feed on terrestrial vegetation at night, aquatic in the day

Hippopotamus amphibius the river hippopotamus

  • up to 3500 kg 
  • photograph � 2009 by Seth Witcher, used with permission.  Kruger National Park, South Africa.

  Hexaprotodon liberiensis Pygmy hippopotamus

  • 200-250 kg.
  • image �2000 ZooNet/ Birmingham Zoo, used with permission



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