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Peccaries

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Known as javelins in the USA

The peccaries are related to and look like pigs. The most widespread is the collared peccary (saíno; Tayassu tajacu), which ranges from the southwestern USA to Argentina in a wide variety of habitats. It is about 80cm long, weights around 20kg, and has coarse grey hair with a light collar from its shoulder forward to the lower jaw. The larger white-lipped peccary (chancho de monte; Tayassu pecari) is darker and lacks the collar but has a whitish area on the lower chin.

Both species move around in different sized groups; numbers of over 300 are reported for the white-lipped, but considerably fewer for the collared peccary. The latter is more commonly seen but is quieter and shyer. The white-lipped peccaries are noisy and rather aggressive with their audible tooth gnashing and clicking - quite frightening if you hear 300 animals performing this way! Corcovado rangers warn visitors to be prepared to climb a tree if they are charged, though this rarely happens. Peccaries leave pungent, churned-up mud wallows, which can be seen (and smelled) in Corcovado.


Picture 1, Peccaries, Costa RicaPicture 2, Peccaries, Costa Rica
Picture 3, Peccaries, Costa RicaPicture 4, Peccaries, Costa Rica