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Collared Peccary

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Collared peccaries are named after the ring of white fur around their necks. The hairs are generally gray or black with a few white zones. They have slender legs and relatively small feet in proportion to the rest of the body.

Peccaries live in close family groups of 6 to 12. Peccaries are omnivorous, they will eat both meat and vegetation, although they prefer roots, fruit and seeds.In the tropical rain forests they are primarily frugivores, living on fruit that falls from trees. They have poor eyesight, reasonable hearing and a good sense of smell. A very social species, collared peccaries are noisy creatures with barks, grunts, purrs, woofs and coughs because of their good hearing but poor vision. 

Both male and female are assertive and will defend their territory and their young. An adult peccary will confront a predator and attract its attention while the others escape. Peccaries have a powerful musk gland on the top of the rump. Their odor is always apparent, especially when excited. You may smell a peccary before you see it. They use this scent to recognize other herd members and to mark their territories. Using their sensitive noses to find food underground, collared peccaries eat tubers, bulbs, nuts and fruits.  Possessing complex stomachs, they are able to eat poorly chewed food that is rich in cellulose. 

Local Names - Quenk, Wild Hog, also called javelinas

Latin Name - Tayassu tajacu

The name javelina, Spanish for javelin, is derived from the collared peccary’s spear-like upper canines.

Collared Peccaries are found in the Western Hemisphere, from the southwestern part of the United States south to  Paraguay.

Although, looking like pigs and locally called Wild Hogs, Collared Peccaries are not descended from pigs. True pigs, members of the Suidae family, developed in the Eastern Hemisphere. Peccaries originated in the Western Hemisphere, during the early Oligocene age, approximately thirty-five million years ago about the same time as true pigs originated. Both species therefore originated at the same time in different parts of the world but developed separately

 

 

Mongoose

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Point Lisas

The mongoose is a small, agile, weasel-like carnivore that has a long bushy tail, short legs , a long body covered with thick, coarse hair and , small ears and a pointed nose. Mongooses are found only in dry forest and scrubland

The mongoose will feed on insects, beetles, worms, snails, lizards, frogs and crabs, as well as eggs and fruit. As well as preying on these small life forms, however, the mongoose is also renowned as a fighter of snakes. It is able to fight snakes as it is very fast. In a standoff with a snake, it will usually be able to move to avoid strikes from the snake. The mongoose will typically make a series of feints towards the snake, to finally dash in and seize the snake by the back of the neck. The animal's sharp teeth will bite deeply to break the snake's spine. Coupled with it's speed and courage is the fact that the mongoose has a high tolerance to the venom of a snake. It takes about eight times the lethal dose of snakebite for a rabbit to kill a mongoose. More than a few mongoose have been felled, however, by feasting on the snake they have just killed. They have eaten the head of the snake and the fangs have punctured the wall of the stomach, allowing the poison to seep into the bloodstream.

The mongoose was introduced from India into many nations of the West Indies, beginning in the 1870s, for the purpose of controlling rats in sugar cane plantations. In 1883 they were imported to the Hawaiian Islands for the same reason. Both cases proved to be among the most disastrous attempts ever made at biological control. In both instances the mongoose not only did tremendous damage on its own account (extirpating many native species), but at best only partially reduced the populations of rats

 

 

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Mongoose

Point Lisas

 

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Water Buffalo

Kernahan, Manzanilla

Water Buffalo are generally docile and can frequently be seen being tended to or ridden by children. Between 1905 and 1908 several breeds were imported to Trinidad from India and are the source of the majority of buffalo seen in the country. They are mainly used as beasts of burden but are a source of low cholesterol meat.



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Last modified: February 16, 2008