Flat-headed Peccary

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Platygonus compressus skeleton
Platygonus compressus skull

The Flat-headed Peccary (Platygonus compressus) is an extinct mammal species from the Tayassuidae-family, that lived in North-America during the Pleistocene. It was first described in 1848 by John L. Leconte. At the end of the Pleistocene it disappeared.[1]


The Flat-headed Peccary was about 75 cm in shoulderheight and about 30 kg in weight.[2] Other sources have estimated it to be similar in size to the European Wild Boar.[3] Sizes differ between the place they have been found.[4]

Fossil skulls suggest a small brain, but a good sense of smell and seight. It has been suggested that the nasal cavity provided filtration for cold, dry and dusty air.[5][6] Platygonus compressus had elongated limbs, a short humerus, broad and erect thoracic vertebrae and a large scapula. Therefore it has been suggested that this species may have been fleeter on foot that modern Peccary species.[3]

Distribution and Habitat[edit]

The Flat-headed Peccary was widespread throughout North America. Fossils have been found from New York to California, from Wisconsin to Mexico and further south in South America. An Individual has even been found as far north as the Yukon.

Platygonus compressus lived in a great variety of habitats and had a wide environmental climate tolerance. This species roamed North American Boreal Forest and Tropical Rainforest in South America.[3][5]


Flat-headed Peccarys are often found in small groups up to 12 individuals. It is likely that Platygonus compressus lived in varying herd numbers from 2-100, aswell as modern Peccary species. It is believed to have been an open forest browser. Fossil teeth show adaptation for coarser vegetation.

Frequent roaming of caves has been reported for this species. At Bat Cave in Missouri 98 Individuals have been found together. Caves could possibly have been used for protection from extreme weather.[3][5]


  1. ^ Wagner, George (December 1903). "Observations on Platygonus Compressus Leconte" (PDF). The Journal of Geology. 11: 777–782. 
  2. ^ "Platygonus compressus". Fossilworks. Retrieved 2017-05-02. 
  3. ^ a b c d Nye, April Season, "Pleistocene Peccaries from Guy Wilson Cave, Sullivan County, Tennessee." (2007). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. Paper 2115. http://dc.etsu.edu/etd/2115
  4. ^ Slaughter, Bob H. (April 1966). "Platygonus compressus and Associated Fauna from the Laubach Cave of Texas" (PDF). American Midland Naturalist. 75: 475–494. 
  5. ^ a b c Zazula; Kuhn, Grant; Tyler (2014). Ice Age Mammals of Yukon. Yukon: Yukon Beringia Interpretive Centre. pp. 24–25. ISBN 978-1-55362-705-0. 
  6. ^ Hoare, Richard D. (May 1964). "Pleistocene Peccary Platygonus Compressus Leconte from Sandusky County, Ohio" (PDF). The Ohio Journal of Science. 64: 207–214.