Overview of the Tapir
The tapir is a large mammal, similar in shape to a
pig. However, unlike a pig, tapirs have a short, prehensile
snout. There are four different species of tapirs:.
They are the Baird's Tapir, Brazilian Tapir, the Malayan
Tapir, and the Mountain Tapir. Unfortunately, all of
these species are either endangered or vulnerable. Tapirs
inhabit the jungle and forest regions of South America,
Central America, and Southeast Asia.
The proboscis of the tapir is a highly flexible structure,
able to move in all directions. Surprisingly, the closest
relatives of the tapirs are not pigs or elephants, but
horses and rhinoceroses. The length of the proboscis
varies between tapir species: Malayan Tapirs have the
longest snouts while Brazilian Tapirs have the shortest.
Most tapirs are about 7 feet in length and stand 3 feet
high at the shoulder. They weigh between 330 to 700
pounds. They live for 25 to 30 years, both in the wild,
and in zoos.
Although they live in dryland forests, tapirs near
water spend a good time in or under the water. They
often feed on vegetation, take refuge from predators
and cool off in rivers. Tapirs consume mainly fruit,
berries and leaves. The Bairdís Tapirs has been recorded
as eating roughly 85 pounds of vegetation in a single
About the Author
Jacob Maddox manages content for Wildlife Animals http://www.wildlife-animals.com
an educational wildlife and animal website. Jacob also
guest writes for Dog Pound http://www.dog-pound.net