|Scientific classification (disputed)|
Roosmalen et al., 2007
The giant peccary (Pecari maximus) is a possible fourth species of peccary, discovered in Brazil in 2000 by Dutch naturalist Marc van Roosmalen. In 2003, he and German natural history filmmaker Lothar Frenz succeeded in filming a group and gathering material, which later would serve as the type. Though recently reported, it has been known to locals as caitetu munde, which means "great peccary which lives in pairs". It was formally described in 2007, but the scientific evidence for its species status has later been questioned, which also is one of the reasons for it being evaluated as data deficient by IUCN.
Its assumed range encompass the south-central Amazon between the Madeira and the Tapajós Rivers. It is restricted to Terra Firme forest. Unlike other peccaries in its range, the giant peccary appears to mainly occur in pairs or small family groups.
According to its original description, the giant peccary is larger, longer-legged, and proportionally smaller-headed than the only other member of the genus, the collared peccary (P. tajacu). Compared to the sympatric populations of the collared peccary, the giant peccary also has thinner fur that is grizzled in brown and white, blacker legs, and a relatively faint collar. Five skins of the giant peccary had a total length of 120–137 cm (47–54 in), while local hunters have estimated a weight of 40–50 kg (88–110 lb). Based on mtDNA, the collared and the giant peccaries are estimated to have diverged 1.0–1.2 million years ago, but these results have been considered questionable due to the low bootstrap support, small sample size, and the absence of nDNA and cytogenetic results. Furthermore,extensive intraspecific variations (both individual and locality-based) are known in the morphology of the collared peccary.
- Gongora, J. (2008). Pecari maximus. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved 25 November 2008. Database entry includes a brief justification of why this species is of data deficient.
- Roosmalen, M.G.M.; Frenz, L.; Hooft, W.F. van; Iongh, H.H. de; Leirs, H. 2007. A New Species of Living Peccary (Mammalia: Tayassuidae) from the Brazilian Amazon. Bonner zoologische Beitrage 55(2): 105–112.
- Trials of a Primatologist. – smithsonianmag.com. Accessed March 15, 2008
- Gongora, J., Taber, A., Keuroghlian, A., Altrichter, M., Bodmer, R.E., Mayor, P., Moran, C., Damayanti, C.S., González S. (2007). Re-examining the evidence for a ‘new’ peccary species, ‘Pecari maximus’, from the Brazilian Amazon. Newsletter of the Pigs, Peccaries, and Hippos Specialist Group of the IUCN/SSC. 7(2): 19–26.
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