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By Erwinn Stresemann

In 3 elements: the principles of Orinthology, the improvement of Systematics and the learn of Evolution, the advance of Biology

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The dominant boar is the only male permitted to breed. Nonbreeding males may remain with the herd when rutting begins but are not allowed to approach females in estrus. Bachelor herds don’t exist as they do in most herd species. After a 4-month gestation, mothers give birth to two to four piglets, with twins being the norm. In contrast to other social species that are predominantly female, the ratio between genders is approximately equal. Prior to giving birth, peccary mothers-to-be seek out a protected cave or other shelter in which to have their litters.

This wolf was alert—or “on its toes”—when it made this track. The heaviest toe impression on the right side indicates that this is a right-side paw print. Tracks: Wolves have the largest tracks of all canids. 5 to more than 4 inches long. Tracks always show claws. Straddle is 4 to 6 inches; stride is 26 to 30 inches. Tracks are notably different from a coyote’s and distinguishable from domestic dog tracks by their larger size and configuration. Hind heel pads have three distinct lobes to the rear—typical of canines—but front heel pads show only two lobes in tracks, leaving a chevron imprint that is unlike the three-lobed front tracks of a coyote or fox.

Foxes are solitary except for mating. Adult males universally cock a leg to urinate against a usually stationary object to mark territory. Females squat to urinate, as do males in the presence of a dominant male, but ruling females may lift one foot slightly off the ground. Urine carries odors that identify individuals, territorial boundaries, gender, sexual readiness, size, and age. Urine posts are refreshed, usually daily, and trackers should be mindful that scent posts often mark the boundaries between two territories.

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