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New Book on the History and Mystery of the Collared Peccary

Jane Manaster's natural and cultural history of the javelina is a must-read for any fan of the little “pig” of the Southwest.

TTU Press

Of all of the stereotypically "Southwestern" animals, the javelina (or collared peccary) is probably the one that is least likely to be encountered by humans. Some people think they're just hairy wild pigs and some fear them as dangerous razorbacks. The truth is more complex and more interesting thanks to Jane Manaster's "Javelinas," a new book published by Texas Tech University Press.

Javelinas at a watering hole Javelinas, such as these shown in one of the beautiful pictures featured in Manaster's new book, are social and affectionate with one another and will render aid if one of the herd is attacked.

The javelina is the only peccary species native to the United States and is as much a part of the Southwestern landscape as the roadrunner, armadillo and horned lizard. Its name is likely derived from the Spanish word for javelin, referring to the animal’s sharp tusks.

Javelinas are mentioned in documents dating back to the seventeenth century, when their range was somewhat larger. Very distantly related to the pig family, javelinas may be found in Texas, Arizona and New Mexico, where they feast on one of their favorite foods, the prickly pear cactus.

Living in herds numbering up to 50 animals, javelinas are generally said to be nearsighted and shy, although they are beginning to turn up as pests in some suburban areas. Due to a dorsal scent gland, you are likely to smell a javelina before you see it.

"Javelinas" features colorful and endearing photographs and illustrations of this misunderstood animal, making this natural and cultural history of the javelina a must-read for any fan of the little “pig” of the Southwest.

About the Author

Manaster, a freelance writer and geographer, has previously penned "Horned Lizards," which was published by Texas Tech University Press in 2002.

Visit the Texas Tech University Press Web site to learn more about "Javelinas."


Javelinas Book Cover