Perchoerus, peccary skull
Perchoerus, peccary skull
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Perchoerus, peccary skull

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Perchoerus is one of the rarest of the mammal fossils found in the White River Badlands and is much rarer than the cats and nimravids from the same area. They bear a strong resemblance to pigs, but pigs are from a separate family (the Suidae). They are the result of convergent evolution to pigs. During the convergent evolution, they occupied similar ecological niches and both were omnivorous rooters.

The fossil record places peccaries in the Upper to Lower Oligocene in Europe. They first appeared in North America from the Lower Oligocene to the end of the Oligocene.

Perchoerus (peccaries) belong to the order Artiodactyla and the suborder Suina (swine). Hippopotami/Hippopotamidae, pigs, and wart hogs belong to the Family Suidae.

Perchoerus lived during the Oligocene (37.5-30 million years ago). The Oligocene marked the start of generalized cooling to the earth. Glaciers formed in Antarctica during the Cenozoic Era (65 million years ago to the present) for the first time. Tropical climates diminished and cooler woodland and grassland climates became more widespread. The cooling trend culminated in the Ice Age of the Pliocene (10-3 million years ago).

By the Oligocene, modern types of angiosperms (plants with an enclosed seed) had become widespread. The higher latitudes of the northern hemisphere would have changed from broad-leafed trees to those found on the North Island of New Zealand or the tip of the Cape of South Africa.

The following is how Perchoerus is classified: Kingdom: Animalia, Phylum: Chordata, Class: Mammalia, Order: Artiodactyla, Suborder: Suina (swine), Family: Tayassuidae, Genus: Perhoerus, Species: ?
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