Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Sushi for peccaries?

Date:
April 29, 2013
Source:
Wildlife Conservation Society
Summary:
It turns out the white-lipped peccary —- a piglike animal from Central and South America —- will settle for fish when fruits (its main food) are no longer on the menu, according to researchers revealing the first-ever photos of fish-eating peccaries.

These images of fish-eating white-lipped peccaries were taken on the morning of August 17, 2011. After a review of the scientific literature, the photographer and his colleagues realized that photographic evidence of this behavior was unprecedented.
Credit: Douglas Fernandes

It turns out the white-lipped peccary -- a piglike animal from Central and South America -- will settle for fish when fruits (its main food) are no longer on the menu, according to the Wildlife Conservation Society and partners revealing the first-ever photos of fish-eating peccaries.

Related Articles


The images of fish consumption by white-lipped peccaries were taken by Douglas Fernandes in the Brazilian Pantanal wetlands one morning back in 2011. A short description of the observations, along with the digital photographs taken, will appear in the latest edition of Suiform Soundings (IUCN Peccary Specialist Group Newsletter).

"As far as we know, these are the first images of fish consumption by white-lipped peccaries," said Dr. Alexine Keuroghlian of the Wildlife Conservation Society and an expert on peccaries. "This finding expands our knowledge of how this ecologically important species survives in highly seasonal habitats."

While there was one reported account by Dr. Joe Fragoso of the white-lipped peccary dining on fish in the Amazon, the behavior has been rarely seen and apparently never photographed until the morning of August 17, 2011. On that day, Fernandes, a researcher for the Instituto Arara Azul, a partner organization , observed a group of approximately 30 white-lipped peccaries at Caiman Lodge near the town of Miranda in the Pantanal, one of the world's largest tropical wetlands. Most of the peccaries fled as he approached, but five remained as they fed on aquatic plants in shallow ponds, created by the receding flood waters typical of the Pantanal's dry season. It was then that Fernandes noticed three of the peccaries eating traira, or wolf fish, from the oxygen-starved ponds.

"We know that peccaries are primarily fruit-eaters, but will consume aquatic plants, tubers, grasses, and small invertebrates, such as insect larvae, worms, and snails, when fruits are scarce," said Dr. Keuroghlian.

"At the time, I knew this was a rare observation but was unaware of the fact that I was taking perhaps the first images of this behavior," said Fernandes.

The white-lipped peccary is a medium-sized animal that occurs in both humid tropical forests as well as open savanna and wetland habitats throughout Central and South America. The species sometimes travels in herds of hundreds of individual animals, the only Neotropical ungulate (hoofed mammal) known to do so. As a major fruit-eater, the white-lipped peccary plays an important ecological role in rainforests and other habitats as a seed predator and disperser, and it is a favorite prey of jaguars and pumas. Additionally, white-lipped peccaries are considered an environmental indicator of a well-preserved forest.

The white-lipped peccary is listed as "Near Threatened"on the IUCN's Red List, but its status is currently under review as "Vulnerable." The two main threats faced by white-lipped peccaries are habitat loss and direct hunting.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wildlife Conservation Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Wildlife Conservation Society. "Sushi for peccaries?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 April 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130429175919.htm>.
Wildlife Conservation Society. (2013, April 29). Sushi for peccaries?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 28, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130429175919.htm
Wildlife Conservation Society. "Sushi for peccaries?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130429175919.htm (accessed February 28, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Whale-Watching Scientists Spot Baby Orca

Whale-Watching Scientists Spot Baby Orca

AP (Feb. 28, 2015) Researchers following endangered killer whales spotted a baby orca off the coast of Washington state, the third birth documented this winter but still leaving the population dangerously low. (Feb. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Drinks for Your Health

The Best Drinks for Your Health

Buzz60 (Feb. 27, 2015) When it comes to health and fitness, there&apos;s lots of talk about what foods to eat, but there are a few liquids that can promote good nutrition. Krystin Goodwin (@krystingoodwin) has the healthiest drinks to boost your health! Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cherries, Snap Peas and More Tasty Spring Produce

Cherries, Snap Peas and More Tasty Spring Produce

Buzz60 (Feb. 27, 2015) From sweet cherries to sugar snap peas, spring is the peak season for some of the tastiest and healthiest produce. Krystin Goodwin (@Krystingoodwin) has the best seasonal fruits and veggies to spring in to good health! Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Foods to Battle Stress

The Best Foods to Battle Stress

Buzz60 (Feb. 26, 2015) If you&apos;re dealing with anxiety, there are a few foods that can help. Krystin Goodwin (@krystingoodwin) has the best foods to tame stress. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins