Platygonus pearcei differs from modern peccaries in several key ways. The legs are proportionately longer, the molars have sharp cusps, the jaws are less flexible, and the nasal cavities are significantly larger (Finch et al., 1972). Platygonus pearcei was similar in size to the European Wild Boar Sus scrofa. It exhibits prominent hypsodonty (when the crown of the teeth above the gum line is substantially longer than the root of the teeth below the gum line).
These teeth show signs of being used for browsing on coarse vegetation. Platygonus pearcei is considered an open forest browser because the ends of the hooves are elongated, the humerus (upper arm bone) is quite short, the body vertebrae are broad and stiff, and the shoulder bone is large and flat. All of these traits would have served to make Platygonus pearcei notably faster than modern peccaries. This would have served it well in the increasingly open environment (Nye, 2007).
Platygonus pearcei differs from other members of the genus in subtle, yet distinctive ways. It is the only member of the genus to have three incisors (front teeth) and has a large ridge on the third molars not seen in the other species. It has also been described as having more gracile (slender) limbs than any other species of Platygonus (Ruez Jr, 2009).
- Finch, W. I., Whitmore, F. C., & Sims, J. D. (1972). Stratigraphy, morphology, and paleoecology of a fossil peccary herd from western Kentucky. US Government Printing Office. Retrieved from http://pubs.usgs.gov/pp/0790/report.pdf
- Nye, A. S. (2007). Pleistocene Peccaries from Guy Wilson Cave, Sullivan County, Tennessee. Retrieved from http://dc.etsu.edu/etd/2115/
- Ruez Jr, D. A. (2009). Revision of the Blancan (Pliocene) mammals from Hagerman fossil beds National Monument, Idaho. Journal of the Idaho Academy of Science, 45(1).
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