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1 March 2014 Consumption of desert gourds by collared peccary suggests the fruit is not an ecological anachronism
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Abstract
We used automatic game-cameras to document the consumption of desert gourds (Cucurbita foetidissima) by collared peccary (Pecari tajacu) during 2009–2011 at a wildlife feeding station near Alpine, Texas. Our observations constitute the first report of the fruit of C. foetidissima in the diet of collared peccary. Seeds probably escape damage during mastication and chemical digestion owing to their small size, and we, therefore, consider collared peccary to be potential dispersal agents of C. foetidissima. Although extinct megafauna (e.g., probiscideans, equids, and Geochelone) also may have dispersed seeds of C. foetidissima, the contention that its fruit is an ecological anachronism warrants reconsideration.
Steven G. Platt, Patricia R. Manning and Thomas R. Rainwater "Consumption of desert gourds by collared peccary suggests the fruit is not an ecological anachronism," The Southwestern Naturalist 59(1), (1 March 2014). https://doi.org/10.1894/N11-JKF-37.1
Received: 2 July 2012; Accepted: 1 May 2013; Published: 1 March 2014
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