Many hunters think that the Javelina and Wild Boar are the same thing. While they look similar in appearance, and have many similar traits, they are not the same. One sure sign is that they are smaller than a wild boar, and have a short-cropped beard (called a collar) around their face which gives them a very distinctive look.
Javelina, Peccary, Skunk Pig, and Musk Hog are the same animal. The scientific name is Tayassu tajacu. Javelina are in the Peccary family, with wild boar as a very distant cousin in the Suidea family.
Wild boar have tails, and Javelina do not.
Javelinas have scent glands near their eyes and on their back, wild hogs do not. This gives them their name of a musk hog, or skunk pig. They use their scent glands to mark territory and each other.
Wild boar outweigh a Javelina by about 100 pounds generally. Javelinas weight range is between 45-80 pounds, while wild hogs range between 80-350 pounds typically.
Javelinas travel in herds, which can get quite large, upwards of 60 Peccary. Wild boar travel in Sounders, with typically a pair of Sows, and their offspring.
Javelina have poor eyesight, yet have excellent noses, much like that of wild boar. They use their nose the same as a wild boar to root for their food, as they are opportunistic omnivores. Their favorite diet would be the prickly pear cactus and agave.
Javelinas can be found in Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Mexico, Central America, and most of South America. They are found in desert environments in high chaparral, near water sources, and heavy brush.
Both wild boar and Javelina are great fun hunting!