A peccary is a medium-sized, pig-like hoofed mammal of the family Tayassuidae (New World pigs). They are found throughout Central and South America, Trinidad in the Caribbean, and in the southwestern area of North America. They usually measure between 90 and 130 cm (2 ft 11 in and 4 ft 3 in) in length, and a full-grown adult usually weighs about 20 to 40 kg (44 to 88 lb).
Peccaries are social creatures that live in herds. They eat roots, grubs, and a variety of foods. They can identify each other by their strong odors. A group of peccaries that travel and live together is called a "squadron". A squadron of peccaries averages between six and nine members.
The last common ancestors of peccaries and other even-toed ungulates were vaguely piglike animals that lived over 50 million years ago. Peccaries evolved in Europe about 30 million years ago and spread across much of the world. In the Old World, peccaries went extinct, but they survived in North America. About three million years ago, peccaries spread into South America.
They are often confused with feral domestic pigs of the Old World (family Suidae), commonly known as "razorback" hogs in many parts of the United States, when the two occur in the wild in similar ranges.
Mayans kept herds of peccaries, using them in rituals and for food. They are kept as pets in many countries, in addition to being raised on farms as a source of food.