Bakers are amazing animals. Outwardly, they look very much like pigs, therefore, until recently they were considered as such, but now they belong to the family of non-ruminant artiodactyl mammals.
However, biologists may once again reconsider their position regarding classification, since pig bakers in fact, they have much in common with ruminants.
It is generally accepted that bakers are the indigenous inhabitants of the New World, but this is not so. The remains of their ancestors are often found in Western Europe, which suggests that in the Old World these amazing animals either became extinct or assimilated with wild boars.
Features and habitat of pigs bakers
Pig bakers photo- and telegenic animals. Noticing a person with a video camera or photo lens, they take a serious look, stop, literally posing for the shooter.
These amazing creatures live on the American continent; they can be found in reserves in the southwestern United States, in South America along the entire coast of the Pacific Ocean, in the west of Argentina, in Ecuador and in almost every corner of Mexico. Bakers are completely unpretentious to the climate and almost omnivorous, so their habitat is so wide.
Today, people know four species of these wild pigs, two of which were rediscovered in the twentieth century, in the process of reclamation of tropical lands and savannah wastes, and before that were considered extinct.
Today, scientists are known wild pig bakers of such types:
These are the only bakers living in the USA. The uniqueness of the species is that on the sacral part of the back of adult animals there are special glands of additional secretion.
Collared pigs live in herds of 5-15 individuals, are very social, are closely interconnected and friendly. They have a white or yellow “collar” in color, thanks to which they got their name.
They love to eat, preferring to feast on mushrooms, berries, onions, shoots of green beans and, oddly enough, cacti. However, they are omnivores and will never pass by carrion - the corpses of frogs or snakes, decaying carcasses of larger animals or nests with eggs. They grow up to half a meter at the withers and up to a meter in length, with an average weight of 20-25 kg.
- White beards.
Live mainly in Mexico, large, strong animals organized in herds of up to hundreds of heads. They got their name because of the bright light spot under the lower jaw.
Herds constantly wander, not staying longer than three days, even in the most suitable places for them. This is due to the fact that the white-bearded bakers, although omnivorous, prefer to eat carrion, which they are looking for.
- Chaksky or, as they are also called - Wagner's bakers.
These animals are listed in the Red Book. Long considered extinct, they were described by biologists from fossils found in Western Europe. And they were again discovered alive in 1975 when laying the power line in Paraguay.
The view is difficult to observe and study, since its habitat is the Gran Chaco forests, that is, a wild virgin territory affecting three states - Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay.
The main observations of these bakers are carried out in places with a semi-arid forest and forest-steppe, and, at the moment, zoologists have reliably determined only that these animals like to eat thorns and are very shy, preferring to hide behind boulders or in other shelters as soon as they notice themselves observation.
- Gigantius, or giant.
This species has not been studied at all. It was accidentally rediscovered in 2000, with intensive deforestation in Brazil. Fossils similar to giant bakers were often excavated in Europe, but it is not yet known whether those remains and accidentally discovered animals are the same species.
Character and lifestyle of bakers
Basically, all data about these animals, such as characteristic, description of a wild pig bakers, obtained from observations of the life of collar pigs in reserves throughout the United States.
Bakers prefer an evening and night way of life, hear well and have a very developed sense of smell. They are very social, live in herds, and with a very strict hierarchy.
The leadership of the leader is not disputed, as well as his exclusive right to fertilize females. If one of the males decides to call the qualities of the leader of the herd into doubt, then no fight or fights take place. The doubting male just simply leaves and collects his own herd.
As for character, bakers have long been considered shy animals. However, in the mid-twentieth century there was a wave of fashion for keeping wild animals as pets.
Moreover, the more unusual the favorite was, the better. This hobby destroyed the myth of shyness of bakers, suggesting that these wild pigs are very sociable, peaceful and extremely curious.
Today, these animals can be found in many zoos, where they feel great and are, if not stars, then favorites of visitors. In addition, there are bakers in several Canadian circuses, in which the dress and rooms are based on the principle of "big top".
Reproduction and longevity of bakers
The bakers have no specific time for mating. Sexual contacts between females and the leader of the herd occur almost the same as in humans - at any time.
If the female becomes pregnant, then her delicate position lasts from 145 to 150 days. He prefers to give birth to bakers in a secluded place or in a hole, but always in solitude.
Usually a pair of piglets is born, very rarely more. The kids get to their feet on the second day of their life, and, as soon as this happens, they return with their mother to the other relatives.
Bakers live in different ways, under favorable conditions - the absence of natural enemies, adequate nutrition and good health - up to 25 years. However, not so long ago, in a Thai zoo, a baker’s boar celebrated its thirtieth birthday, while being in good physical shape.
According to the observations of zoologists and naturalists, pig baker in south america rarely lives up to 20 years, dying on average at 15-17. Whether this is due to the variety or to some other reasons, scientists have not yet figured out.
Bakers are very fond of eating, watching them, you can notice that they constantly chew something, and often have a bite during the migration process, on the go, just like people do. These animals are omnivorous - they can pluck grass, eat around bean shoots, feast on mushrooms, or drive off vultures and eat the carcass of a dead animal.
Such a variety of culinary preferences is due to the structure of their stomachs and teeth. the stomach of the wild pig bakers has three sections, the very first of which nature has additionally equipped with a pair of "blind" bags.
And in the mouth of each animal - 38 teeth, with well-developed back, grinding food and with powerful trihedral fangs in front, completely the same as any predator.
Many biologists believe that once bakers were not only content with carrion and pasture, but also hunted. Now, fangs are used only for protection against natural enemies - pumas and jaguars, and for tearing large flesh carrion.
Summing up the story about these amazing animals, unfamiliar to humans, it is necessary to mention the history of the name - pigs bakers why they were called that no less interesting than themselves.
When Europeans, the pioneers explored the American continent, they were faced with a fairly contact and friendly Native American tribe "Tupi", whose descendants still live in modern Brazil.
Seeing in the distance a group of unusual animals, the Portuguese began to point at them, shouting "Pigs, wild pigs," and the Indians caught up with a word that sounds to Europeans' ears like "Bakers."
After some time, it became known that “bakers” was not one word, but several, and this phrase is translated as “an animal doing many forest paths,” which describes baker’s pigs beautifully and accurately.