(AP) — A Dutch scientist thinks he has discovered a new species of wild pig nearly twice the size of other pigs in Brazil’s Amazon region.
At four feet long and 90 pounds, the pig is the latest in a string of new species that Marc van Roosmalen reported to have found since 1996. His findings were published in the Oct. 29 edition of the German scientific journal Bonner Zoologische Beitrage.
Van Roosmalen, said his discovery of the peccary – a kind of wild pig he dubbed Pecari maximus – points out the need to protect the region as a habitat for wild species.
He said he made his discovery by accident in 2000, while searching for a new monkey species.
The region where Roosmalen discovered the new peccary and other species – mostly primates – lies along a logging frontier around Nova Aripuana, where the number of sawmills has grown from two in 2002 to 14 today.
DNA analysis showed the animal diverged from the most closely related species, Pecari tajacu, or collared peccary, about 1 million to 1.2 million years ago, Van Roosmalen said.
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