Peccary Fossil Skull from Badlands
Mammalia, Order Artiodactyla, Suborder Suina, Family Tayassuidae
Time: Upper Oligocene
skull is 215 mm long
Site: White River Badlands, South Dakota
This peccary is one of the rarest mammalian fossils from the White
River badlands; indeed, it is rarer than the cats of family Felidae.
The strong resemblance to pigs (separate family Suidae) is the consequence
evolution owing to their similar occupation of ecological niches,
both being omnivorous rooters. The fossil record indicates the appearance
of peccaries in the upper Eocene to Lower Oligocene in Europe. The
first appearance in the North America fossil record is the lower
Oligocene, though the closure. Fossils have been discovered in all
continents except Australia and Antarctica.
are members of the Artiodactyl suborder Suina, as are swine, Suidae
and hippopotami Hippopotamidae, pigs and wart hogs. The earliest
fossil suids date to the Oligocene epoch of Asia, and their descendants
arrived in Europe during the Miocene.