Amber M. Vanderwarker discusses the presence of peccaries and dogs among the Olmecs.

Amber M. Vanderwarker

Amber M. Vanderwarker, Farming, Hunting, and Fishing in the Olmec World (Austin, Tex.: University of Texas Press, 2006), 125–131

University of Texas Press
Amber M. Vanderwarker
Reading Public

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Mammals represent the class from which residents of La Joya and Bezuapan exploited the widest range of taxa. Larger mammals identified in the assemblages include collared peccary (Tayassu tajacu), white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), and red brocket deer (Mazama americana). Both collared peccary and white-tailed deer inhabit a variety of habitats, including forests, forest edges, grasslands, disturbed areas, and occasionally agricultural fields (Coe and Diehl 1980b : 102–103; Reid 1997 : 281, 283; Soriano et al. 1997 : 604 –607). The red brocket deer is a small nocturnal deer that prefers undisturbed evergreen forests (Reid 1997 : 284; Soriano et al. 1997 : 606)

Medium-sized mammals include opossum (Didelphis sp.), hispid pocket gopher (Orthogeomys hispidus), nine-banded armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus), rabbit (Sylvilagus sp.), northern raccoon (Procyon lotor), ocelot (Leopardus pardalis), and domestic dog (Canis familiaris). The opossum and gopher both prefer disturbed habitats, including areas along forest edges, secondary growth, and weedy areas (Reid 1997 : 43– 44, 192). Today modern farmers in the region and Yucatec Maya farmers capture gophers through the use of snares (Coe and Diehl 1980b : 106; Hovey and Rissolo 1999 : 261). Armadillos prefer deciduous and evergreen forests, thorn scrub, and savanna (Reid 1997 : 60). The rabbit could represent one of two species native to the Tuxtlas, eastern cottontail (Sylvilagus floridanus) and forest rabbit (Sylvilagus brasiliensis). Both species inhabit forest edges and areas of secondary growth, and the cottontail is known to be an agricultural pest (Reid 1997 : 250 –251; Soriano et al. 1997 : 591–592). Raccoon was identified only in the Bezuapan assemblage, represented by a single specimen. Raccoons are widespread in coastal areas, are highly adapted to disturbed habitats, such as towns and rural hamlets, and can be considered crop pests (Coe and Diehl 1980b : 106; Reid 1997 : 258). The ocelot’s range extends over a wide variety of habitats, including deciduous and evergreen forests, forest edges, areas of secondary growth, and agricultural areas (Reid 1997 : 270; Soriano et al. 1997 : 602–603). Domestic dogs probably lived on-site, where they scavenged for food and provided warning to the sites’ inhabitants. The inclusion of dog remains in ordinary domestic refuse at both La Joya and Bezuapan suggests that dogs may have been a food resource as well

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