Animals of the world, Tapir

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Tapir (640x520)

  • The tapir is a large, herbivorous mammal, similar in shape to a pig, with a short, prehensile nose trunk
  • Five extant species within one extant genus are widely recognised. Four are in Central and South America, while the fifth is in Asia.
  • Size varies between types, but most tapirs stand about 1 m (3 ft) high at the shoulder
  • They can weigh up to 300 kilos
  • Tapirs are related to horses and rhinoceroses.
  • Tapirs short, gripping trunk is really an extended nose and upper lip
  • Though they appear densely built, tapirs are at home in the water and often submerge to cool off.
  • Tapirs are nocturnal, hiding in thick patches of forest to sleep most of the day, and waking at around 3:30 in the afternoon to forage
  • In the wild, the tapir’s diet consists of fruit, berries, and leaves, particularly young, tender growth
  • Tapirs are wide-ranging animals
  • Apart from mothers and their young offspring, tapirs lead almost exclusively solitary lives.
  • Tapirs are generally shy, but when scared they can defend themselves with their very powerful jaws
  •  The natural lifespan of a tapir is about 25 to 30 years

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