Feeds

Biologist 'discovers' scentless giant peccary

Pecari maximus, or 'Caitetu Munde' to his mates

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Dutch biologist Marc van Roosmalen has expanded the list of known peccary species to four following his "discovery" of the giant peccary, aka Pecari maximus, in the basin of the Rio Aripuanã in the south eastern Amazon.

According to the Telegraph, van Roosmalen came across the world's largest peccary during "routine field surveys". He'd already seen remains of the animal killed by local Tupi Indian hunters, and recounted his first sighting: "One day I was looking at some monkeys, and I saw three peccaries pass in front of me, totally silent. They appeared and then disappeared without making any noise."

"Later, I asked the locals what I had seen. It shows that you really have to see things and then ask people what you've seen. They are not going to tell you otherwise. It's normal to them. It turns out to be their most hunted animal."

Indeed, the giant peccary is well known to the Tupi, who call it "Caitetu Munde", or "great peccary which lives in pairs". Following genetic confirmation of its status as a distinct species by the Leiden Centre for Environmental Sciences in the Netherlands, it now joins the Chaccoan peccary, collared peccary, and white-lipped peccary on the peccary roster.

The giant peccary stands out from its cousins due to its size (large dog), a tendency to live in pairs or small family groups, its lack of "rooting behaviour", a "predominantly fruit-based diet" and the fact that it doesn't smell. Of the latter, van Roosmalen offered: "I think it's another adaptation to predation pressure from big cats. Through evolution, they cannot afford to be [as] stinky as the other ones."

Sixty-year-old van Roosmalen has a bit of a reputation for discovering new species, including the "Zog-Zog monkey, or genus Callicebus, and the shallow clear-water adapted Dwarf Manatee", according to the Telegraph.

His career hasn't been all biological fun and games, though. Earlier this year, Brazilian authorities sentenced him to 16 years' prison "on embezzlement charges and for illegally keeping orphaned monkeys in a refuge".

He eventually served just two months and was released on appeal, "claiming he had been framed by Brazilian loggers". ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
GRAV WAVE DRAMA: 'Big Bang echo' may have been grit on the scanner – boffins
Exit Planet Dust on faster-than-light expansion of universe
Mine Bitcoins with PENCIL and PAPER
Forget Sudoku, crunch SHA-256 algos
SpaceX Dragon cargo truck flies 3D printer to ISS: Clawdown in 3, 2...
Craft berths at space station with supplies, experiments, toys
'This BITE MARK is a SMOKING GUN': Boffins probe ancient assault
Tooth embedded in thigh bone may tell who pulled the trigger
DOLPHINS SMELL MAGNETS – did we hear that right, boffins?
Xavier's School for Gifted Magnetotaceans
Big dinosaur wowed females with its ENORMOUS HOOTER
That's right, Doris, I've got biggest snout in the prehistoric world
Japanese volcano eruption reportedly leaves 31 people presumed dead
Hopes fade of finding survivors on Mount Ontake
That glass of water you just drank? It was OLDER than the SUN
One MEELLION years older. Some of it anyway
Canberra drone team dances a samba in Outback Challenge
CSIRO's 'missing bushwalker' found and watered
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.