Ed snorted and side-stepped as the peccaries raced ahead of them, squealing a protest at being interrupted.
A cursory inspection of the bird, which is not unfrequently brought alive to Europe, its size, and its enormous bill and talons, at once suggest the vast powers of destruction imputed to it, and are enough to account for the stories told of its ravages on mammals - sloths, fawns, peccaries and spidermonkeys.
The Suidae include the Old World pigs (Suinae) and the American peccaries (Dicotylinae), and are characterized by the snout terminating in a fleshy disk-like expansion, in the midst of which are perforated the nostrils; while the toes are enclosed in sharp hoofs, of which the lateral ones do not touch the ground.
Peccaries,which range fromNewMexico andTexas to Patagonia, are represented by two main types, of which the first is the collared peccary, Dicotyles (or Tagassu) tajacu, which has an extensive range in South America.
Peccaries are omnivorous, living on roots, fallen fruits, worms and carrion, and often inflict great devastation upon crops.