The scientific tourist #318 — Babirusa

Native to indonesia, and now on display at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, Illinois, it’s babirusa:


Also known as pig-deer, babirousa are a genus in the pig family, and found on the Indonesian islands of Sulawesi, Togian, Sula, and Buru.  What appear to be tusks or horns are actually the male babirousa’s canine teeth — its upper canines protrude through the animal’s facial skin, while its lower canines stay a bit more out of the way.  In females, the canines are dramatically smaller, even absent — while on males they differ from island to island (this appears to be a North Sulawesi babirusa).

All existing species of babirusa are listed as endangered or vulnerable, due to poaching and habitat loss from logging.

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