Tapirs are closely related to horses and rhinos,
though most people feel it more closely resembles
Other Names: Mountain Cow, Macho del Monte
Tapir in Foreign Languages:
Chinese: Mandarin: mò
Esperanto: tapiro / virtapiro /
tapirico / tapirino / tapirido / virtapirido
/ tapiridico / tapiridino
Navajo: bichi´i´h naats'oodí
Spanish: tapir / anta / anteburro
/ danta / danto / sachavaca
Species: There are currently four recognized
species of tapir.
Baird’s tapir - Tapirus bairdii
Lowland tapir - Tapirus terrestris
Mountain tapir - Tapirus pinchaque
Malayan tapir - Tapirus indicus
Size: Tapirs stand 29 to 42 inches at their
shoulder and they weigh between 500 to 800 lbs. The
largest tapir is the Malayan tapir, which measures up
to 8 feet long. The smallest tapir is the mountain tapir
which is up to 6 feet long.
Habitat: Tapirs are found in Mexico, Central
America, South America, and Asia. Tapirs inhabit swamps,
forests, and rain forests.
Description: Tapirs have stocky bodies and a
distinctive short prehensile trunk.
Diet: Tapirs eat leaves, twigs, branches, buds,
shoots, berries, fruits and aquatic plants.
Communication: Tapirs communicate through
vocalizations, snorting and foot stomping.
Did You Know?
Tapirs are excellent swimmers and can
even dive to feed on aquatic plants.
Like pigs they will often wallow in
mud to cool off.
Gestation: Tapirs carry their young for 13 to
Birth: Tapirs give birth to a single baby at
a time. A newborn tapir weighs 15 to 22 lbs at birth.
Sexually Mature: Tapirs reach sexual maturity
between three and five years of age. Females will mature
earlier than their male counterparts.
Life Span: Tapirs live approximately
25 to 30 years. Tigers, jaguars, cougars along
with large reptiles like crocodiles all prey on
Did You Know?
Tapirs are generally shy but will defend
themselves when threatened.
Social Structure: Tapirs are solitary and protective
of their environments.