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Peccary Fossils For Sale

PLIOCENE to PLEISTOCENE PERIOD:  5 million - 10,000 years ago

Peccaries are omnivores and members of the family Tayassuidae.  They originated in Europe in the late Eocene, later spreading to other continents.  Only a few species survive today in the southwestern United States and in Central and South America.  These animals are descendants of larger extinct species that once inhabited the United States to a broader scale including the lush environment of Florida. 

There are two genera of peccaries that have been identified as thriving in Florida from the late Pliocene to the mysterious large extinction at the end of the Pleistocene.  These are PLATYGONUS and MYLOHYUS.  Both had longer limbs than do modern peccaries that survive today.  Mylohyus was a more streamlined peccary in comparison to Platygonus and survived until the end of the Pleistocene in far greater numbers than Platygonus.  Earlier in the Pleistocene, Florida was much drier with more open plains and scrub-type vegetation.  The stouter denary and skull of Platygonus was more adapted to chewing coarse vegetation.  As the climate changed and the Florida prairies were transformed into dense woodlands, Mylohyus was better suited for survival eating more succulent vegetation along with fruit, nuts and berries.

The peccary has long, triangular canines on the upper and lower jaw.  The lower canines extend in front of the uppers when the jaws are closed.  Unlike pigs, peccaries chew only in an up and down manner and as the jaws move up and down, these canines abrade against each other keeping the tips constantly sharp.

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