The pigs (Suidae) and the hippopotamuses (Hippopotamidae) are essentially Old World groups, the former of which has alone succeeded in reaching America, where it is represented by the collateral branch of the peccaries (Dicotylinae).
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.
Remains of extinct peccaries referable to the modern genus occur in the caverns and superficial deposits of South America, but not in the earlier formations.
Of the extinct North American peccaries, the typical Dicotyles occur in the Pliocene while the Miocene Bothriolabis, which has tusks of the peccary type, approximates in the structure of its cheek-teeth to the European Miocene genus among the Suinae.