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Meet the White-Lipped Peccary

How can one describe a White-Lipped Peccary? 

How about curé-buró which is Spanish for “pig-burro”? (hint: take a look at its ears!) 

The White-Lipped Peccary is a small pig-like mammal that makes its home in the rainforests of Central and South America. You will rarely find a peccary roaming around by itself; it likes to live in large herds that can number from anywhere to 20 to 300 male and female peccaries, adults and babies. 

The animals have brown or black bristly coats and a long snout like a pig’s. The dark-colored fur then makes the white markings around the peccary’s mouth and lower jaw stand out in sharp contrast. A scent gland located along its back helps the peccary seek out others in its herd.
White-Lipped Peccary Mammal Rainforest k-5 Science
You can also hear them too, for the peccary is a very, very, vocal animal too. To keep track of others in its herd, the peccary can make a kind of moaning sound. When an animal or human ventures too close to its territory, the peccary will bark!

The White-Lipped Peccary is an omnivore. This means that it likes to eat mostly fruit, seeds and roots, though it will not turn its nose up at a snake or two. It will also feast on various insects it can collect while sniffing about. It does most of its hunting during the day.

A large area of lowland rainforest land is where you will have the best luck to finding a herd of peccaries. Unfortunately, much of that land is under threat, due to development, hunting and deforestation.

Something to Think About: Based on what you have read, how does the White-lipped Peccary communicate with others of its kind? How does it let “strangers” know it is around?

Want to Learn More? See the San Diego Zoo page on the "White-Lipped Peccary." 

Rainforest Kids Science curriculum connection: Unit 3: Chapter 5, Lesson 1, GK-5

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