Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New type of peccary discovered in Amazon region

02.11.2007
Dutch biologist Marc van Roosmalen has discovered a new species of peccary in the basin of the Rio Aripuanã in the south-eastern Amazon region.

Van Roosmalen’s research has been supported by scientists from Leiden, Germany and Belgium. The genetic analysis was conducted by the Leiden Centre for Environmental Sciences (CML). The divergence time from the already known peccary species (the time which has passed since the evolutionary division) has been set at one to 1.2 million years.

This species has been christened giant peccary (Pecari maximus) by the researchers on account of its size. The holotype of the species can be found in the museum of the Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia (INPA) in Manaus. The research findings were published in the scientific journal Bonner zoologische Beiträge on 29 October. The giant peccary was known by the local Tupi Indians as Caitetú Mundè, which means ‘great peccary which lives in pairs’.

Peccaries belong to the pig family from the New World (Tayassuidae).
Until recently, the species consisted of three types: the collared peccary, the white-lipped peccary and the Chaccoan peccary. In his contacts with local hunters in area of the Rio Aripuanã basin, Van Roosmalen came across three hides of a species of peccary which he had encountered several times in the local jungle, and which differed strongly from the collared peccary which was also indigenous to the area. The measurements of the body and the skull confirmed that the new species is larger than the other peccary species.

The giant peccary has comparatively longer legs and its fur markings are also completely different. The skull sizes of the giant peccary also appear to differ from the other species. Genetic analysis indicates a divergence time with the collared and white-lipped peccary of between one and 1.2 million years. The giant peccary occurs sympatrically with the white-lipped and collared species, in other words they are found in the same region.

The new species also exhibits very different behaviour from its family members, the white-lipped and collared peccaries. These species are found in large to very large groups (even up to hundreds of individual animals in the case of the white-lipped peccary), while the giant peccary is only found in pairs or in small family groups with one or two offspring. The other peccary types root in the ground for seeds and roots. The giant peccary eats mainly fruit and exhibits little or no rooting behaviour. The habitat of the giant peccary is limited to terra firme, dry wooded areas, in a small region of the basin of the Rio Aripuanã. The researchers therefore expect the giant peccary population to be small, and they recommend that this new species should be placed on the Red List of threatened species of the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN).

Van Roosmalen has previously discovered new types of primates, including two species of titi monkeys, one of which is the Callicebus bernhardi, the Bernhard monkey, named after Prince Bernhard. This is the first time that he has discovered a new, large land mammal.

Hilje Papma | alfa
Further information:
http://research.leidenuniv.nl/

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Dead trees are alive with fungi
10.01.2018 | Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ)

nachricht Management of mountain meadows influences resilience to climate extremes
10.01.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Biogeochemie

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.

Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...

Im Focus: A thermometer for the oceans

Measurement of noble gases in Antarctic ice cores

The oceans are the largest global heat reservoir. As a result of man-made global warming, the temperature in the global climate system increases; around 90% of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Novel 3-D printing technique yields high-performance composites

16.01.2018 | Materials Sciences

New application for acoustics helps estimate marine life populations

16.01.2018 | Life Sciences

Fast-tracking T cell therapies with immune-mimicking biomaterials

16.01.2018 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>