The Brazilian Tapir (Tapirus terrestris) is a mammal in the Tapiridae family. It is also called the South American Tapir, the Amazon Tapir, and the Lowland Tapir. It is the largest land mammal in the Amazon. It is related to horses and rhinoceroses. It is an ungulate (hoofed) mammal.
The Brazilian Tapir is dark brown, with a paler face. It has a short prehensile trunk (like an elephant’s trunk but much shorter). Its trunk can grab branches and leaves or pick fruit from trees. It has a low crest of hair from the crown down the back of the neck. Its round, dark ears have white edges. Its tail is short and stubby.
The Brazilian Tapir can grow to 1.8 metres (6 feet) long and about 77 centimetres (30 inches) tall.
The Tapir feeds mornings and evenings at water holes. It is herbivorous, using its flexible nose to feed on leaves, branches, fruit, grass, and water plants.
It is an excellent swimmer and diver, and can also run quickly on land. It also wallows in mud, which may help to remove ticks from its thick skin.
It is native to the Amazon rainforest in South America, from Venezuela in the north to Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay in the south.
A group of tapirs is called a candle of tapirs. It can have babies when it is about three years old. The female is pregnant for 13 months, and generally has one baby every two years. The juvenile has reddish-brown fur with thin, white, horizontal stripes or dotted lines.
Their predators include crocodiles, jaguars and cougars, and sometimes anacondas. They have a life span of approximately 25-30 years.
Location of photographs: Parc Zoologique de Paris in Bois de Vincennes, France
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM