Tuesday, July 13, 2010

"Early morning run is rewarded by seeing Javelinas with their young"

This morning, while on my run through the Saquaro National Park, I was rewarded by the site of several Javelinas nursing their young. The babies are only a few days old in the picture, and the gestation period for javelinas is four months. The javelinas are not pigs but are collared peccaries. While pig like, they are not, nor are they ferral hog or wild boar. While true pigs originated in the Eastern Hemisphere, the collared peccary is native to the Western Hemisphere and ranges from Argentina to the southern and western parts of the United States. The peccary, is by genus an even toed Ungulate and if we go way back is a distant relative of the hippo.

Peccaries in many ways are like having wild pigs in the desert, they travel in herds of 10-20 and are very interesting. Their main source of food is the prickly pear cactus and the roots of other plants, plus grubs. As a group they mark their territory by way of their sweat glands.

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