East Tennessee scientists ID extinct peccary species

December 24, 2018

GRAY, Tenn. (AP) — East Tennessee State University scientists have discovered the remains of two different extinct species of ancient peccaries at the Gray Fossil Site.

According to the school, peccaries, also known as javelinas, are medium-sized omnivorous animals with small tusks. They look something like pigs but are actually unrelated.

Crew members at the fossil site have been pulling up peccary bones for many years, but a new study revealed the species of peccary that roamed the ancient forests of Tennessee. Neither of the two species have been found in this part of the country before.

The fossil-rich clays of the Gray Fossil Site preserve an ancient ecosystem that dates back around 5 million years. At that time, the site was a large pond surrounded by a lush forest.

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