Friday, December 17, 2010

"Early morning surprise."

When I woke up this morning, I heard some noises outside the bedroom window. When I went to investigate, I saw about 7 or 8 Javelinas eating the pods from underneath one of my mesquite trees. The Javelinas are actually 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, but unlike pigs they are quite gregarious and 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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