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Announcing Sacred Mounds, a novel of Magical Realism and Historical Fantasy from Jim Metzner, with a foreword by Hutke Fields, principal chief of the Natchez Nation.
Cyclonic hordes of insects, a telepathic despot, body-swapping sex - just a few of the surprises Salvador Samuels encounters when he is swept back to pre-colonial times, walking in the moccasins of a blind Indian - who, in turn, has been transported into Salvador's body in present-day America. Sacred Mounds Book Cover Four hundred years apart, they are bound by a mission to rescue our world, aided by the mysterious presence of the mounds. Thousands of these ancient earthworks once dotted the landscape of North America. We still don't know why they were created. Sacred Mounds suggests they are as important today as when they were made over a thousand years ago. Sacred Mounds weaves the stories of two men, each a stranger in a strange land. With the help of two remarkable women, they must find a way to save our planet and return home.
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Pantanal: Peccaries: The Pulse of the Planet daily radio program offers free legal online mp3 downloads, exploring the world of sound in nature, culture and science, with audio adventures, world music, extraordinary sound portraits, science diaries, and nature ring-tones; an amazing sonic experience.

Airdate: Nov 14, 2002
Scientist: Alexine Keuroghlian

Pantanal: Peccaries

Pantanal: Peccaries
Peccaries roam in herds across the wetlands of the Pantanal in Brazil; and these shy, pig-like animals are vital to the health of this vast ecosystem.



They travel in herds, look a bit like wild boars and they're one of the most important seed dispersers in tropical ecosystems. I'm Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet.

"A peccary is considered an ungulate, which are animals that have hooves. They’re pig-like, and they’re fruit eating animals that reside in the tropical region."

Alexine Keuroghlian is field director of the Conservation Research Center in Brazil's Pantanal, a region similar to the Everglades. She tells us that there are three species of peccaries -- one of them endangered -- and they're found from the southwestern United States all the way to Argentina.

"They move in herds, fifty individuals or so. In some areas they can be with a hundred individuals. And they have an interesting, social structure. where there is basically a one to one sex ration. That means one male for every female. You can’t really tell the difference between a male and female if you’re just looking at them from a certain distance. So they’re like one big extended family. They’re extremely important in the maintenance of the biodiversity of whatever habitat they are in, because they are primarily fruit eating animals, and they also disperse seeds. And because they’re in such large numbers, their impact is even larger. I mean if you took peccaries out of the ecosystem, you’re going to see a rapid change in the vegetation. When we think of peccaries, its not one individual, it’s fifty to a hundred individuals acting. So it’s just because of their, their quantity, they really are very important in the ecosystem."

Peccaries are extremely shy animals. If you're lucky enough to get close to one, they'll likely make an unusual sound, which we'll hear in our next program.

Pulse of the Planet is presented with support provided by the National Science Foundation I'm Jim Metzner.