TRENT'S WALK IN THE BELIZEAN JUNGLE (Part Fourteen)
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WHITE LIPPED PECCARY SIGHTING
Belize has two species of Pecari's - Collard & White-lipped. Both of these species reside in just about any sort of habitat, from rain forest to semi-desert, ranging from New Mexico/Arizona (in the USA) all the way to Argentina in South America.
These mammals are hoglike, with small hooves supporting a disproportionately pudgy body which weighs in at 30-60 lbs., including its hairdo of long, course bristles. Its back bears a scent gland which secretes a perfume appreciated only by others of its kind. Up close, these hogs stink!
Peccaries are gregarious beasts which travel in herds of up to 15 for the "collars" and 30 feet for the "white-lips". Within their species, they will bed down together for warmth in thickets or caves, and practice mutual rubbing - of the head, against the others scent gland - especially upon meeting. Group defense is also practiced, a matter of pooled resources as they have poor vision and only fair hearing; despite this, they are surprisingly speedy and agile, favoring offensive techniques such as the frontal attack. They have quite a lot to say on the subject: a loud bark serves as a general alarm, aggressive grumblings may suggest a warning to intruder or opponent alike, and the clattering of teeth may proclaim the threat.
However, within the herd peace is usually kept by a defined order of dominance, most often matriarchal. It is then that a kind of peccaric purring is heard in the land.
The peccary's sense of smell is commensurate with the mobility of its rubbery snoot, and it can sniff out bulbs, roots, and tubers hidden well under the ground. White-lipped peccaries may spice up their diet with grubs, insects, and small vertebrates. Fruits are a favorite with all, including the prickly pear where available; seeds other than those of the fig are crushed by molar activity and thus are not dispersed by way of itinerant peccaries.
Crops, such as maize, beans and squashes, may prove irresistible.
White-lipped peccaries have a gestation period of approximately five months, and breeding apparently occurs in any season, whereas gestation for collared peccaries is less than four months and culminates in May. Up to four but usually two young are born to a litter, a hollow log or someone else's abandoned burrow serving as maternity ward. After only one day, peccary piglets are able to accompany their mother as she goes about the business of eating - all day long.
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Hi, my name is Trenton S. Turley. I've been living in Belize now for 11 years. Hope you enjoy reading my many blog posts. I write about things, that are passionate to me.
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