Have existed for more than 30 million years on Earth.
Tapir Scientific Classification
Tapir Physical Characteristics
Brown, Grey, Red, Black, White
Between 3,000 and 4,500 depending upon the species
20 to 30 years
Top speed
30 mph
150-300kg (330-700lbs)
Tapir Distribition

Remarkably, the origins of the modern-day Tapir species can be mapped right back to the Eocene Date, which lasted from 56 to 33.9 million years earlier.

These very early Tapirs were smaller sized than their modern-day equivalents and did not have actually an extended nose or top lip. These species evaluated as much as 400 extra pounds and were generally half the dimension of the existing species.

The very first instances of Tapirs with lengthy noes showed up throughout the Oliogocene duration, which finished 23 million years earlier. The species from 30 million years earlier are virtually the same to their living relatives today. As a matter of fact, today’s South American, Asian and Hill tapirs have actually developed extremely bit over the last 20 to 30 million years.

As a whole, these animals are strong animals with huge extending rumps. They are covered with differing quantities of red, brownish, grey, or black hair. The hill Tapir, that makes its residence in the Andes hill, is smaller sized yet has extra hair than the various other existing species.

Tapirs are animals that appear like donkeys, yet they consider as much as 800 extra pounds and can be greater than 6 feet long. They likewise separate 2 and 4 feet high at the shoulder. Their challenging hides supply defense from a lot of predators.

5 Amazing Tapir Truths!

  • Tapirs are animals that have actually fed on Planet for greater than 30 million years.
  • They reside in meadows, woodlands, swamps, hills, and various other settings in South America, Asia, and India.
  • They have in between 42 and 44 teeth.
  • Tapirs have in between 52 and 80 chromosomes relying on the species.

Tapir Scientific name

There are 4 living, or extant species of this animal, consisting of:

  • Tapirus terrestris, or the South American Tapir
  • Tapirus pinchaque, or wooly tapir
  • Tapirus indicus, or Malayan tapir
  • Tapirus bairdii, or baird’s tapir.

A 5th species with the scientific name Tapirus kabomani, or the Kabomani Tapir, is not yet formally acknowledged. Past the living species, there have actually gone to the very least 15 various other recognized extinct species over the several numerous years given that this distinct animal initially showed up.

Tapir Appearance and Actions

As a whole, modern-day Tapirs all have a lengthy nose, referred to as a proboscis, that is omnidirectional. They utilize this versatile appendage to collect berries, fruits and various other greenery from all bordering locations. Their mouth has in between 42 and 44 teeth that are mostly level to assist grind plants and fruits.

Apart from the nose, these animals are similar in shapes and size to wild boars or to Rhinoceroses. They can get to greater than 6 feet long and virtually 3 feet high. They consider anywhere from 400 to 800 extra pounds as grownups and have challenging skins that make them immune to several predators that are belonging to South America, India, and Asia.

These animals are usually singular animals. They will certainly collect in little teams, called candle lights, to procreate, and for social communication. Children, referred to as calf bones, stay with their mommies till they get to 6 to 8 months old. During that time, they go off by themselves and the mom is cost-free to elevate an additional spawn.

Tapir mother with baby

Lucas Leuzinger/Shutterstock. com

Tapir Environment

Tapirs have a varied indigenous environment relying on which species it is and where it is located. For instance, the South American species, the scientific name Tapirus terrestris, stays in the verdant levels of Brazil, Venezuela, Colombia, Argentina, Peru, Ecuador, and Guiana.

On the other hand, the Baird Tapir, scientific name Tapirus bairdii, strolls the meadows of Mexico, Central America, and components of north South America. The Hill Tapir is smaller sized and woolier than its relatives. It largely stays in the Andes hills.

The Indian or Oriental tapir is located in Cambodia, Indonesia, and Laos. It has actually likewise been seen in Malaysia, Myanmar (previously referred to as Burma), Thailand, and Vietnam. These animals like to forage in the forests and rain forests of these nations.

Tapir Diet

All species are herbivores, which indicates that their diet consists of just lawns, seeds, fruits, and various other plant. This animal’s proboscis can relocate all various instructions to get reduced- existing fallen leaves and fruit that animals could not have the ability to get to. The animal does not eat meat, so its teeth are utilized exclusively to grind up its vegetative diet.

Tapir Predators and Hazards

This animal has challenging skin on its back and neck that aids shield it from several predators that could wish to target it as a resource of meat. Nonetheless, crocodiles have actually been recognized to assault them while they are indulging swamps and mud pits or while attempting to cool down in lakes and rivers.

Wild forest cats that wander the verdant levels in Central America or the forests of South America and Asia likewise might victimize the these animals. Tigers, jaguars, and cougars are 3 instances of bigger felines that search the Tapir.

In spite of these couple of all-natural predators, probably the most significant threat to the the animal’s survival are humans. Individuals have actually pursued the Tapir for centuries to get not just its meat yet likewise its hides. The Tapir’s long lasting skin makes them specifically valued for leatherwork in some components of Asia and India.

Logging and the damage of their all-natural breeding environments are likewise an additional significant threat to the these animals. As a matter of fact, all 4 Tapir species are either endangered or vulnerable according to preservation monitoring teams. Quotes show that none of these species have a population bigger than 4.500 out in nature.

Tapir Reproduction, Children, and Life-span

These animals have a reasonably lengthy gestation duration. They usually try to mate right before the stormy period in South America and Asia. If effective, after that a male or female infant, referred to as a calf bone, is birthed 13 months later on following the stormy period starts.

Mommies can just lug one calf bone each time. After birth, the female increases and discourages her spawn over the following 6 to 8 months. During that time, the adolescent is virtually complete- expanded, and the mom can seek a brand-new companion. Female Tapirs can have one calf bone every 2 years throughout their lives.

Female Tapirs usually get to sex-related maturation prior to their male equivalents. Females can end up being sexually energetic as very early as 3 years of ages whereas it might take a male Tapir in between 4 and 5 years to totally grow. When fully grown, procreation can happen ashore or while the Tapirs are cooling down in lakes, rivers, or various other huge bodies of water.

A Tapir’s life expectancy continues to be extremely constant whether they are out in the wild or kept in bondage at a zoo. As a matter of fact, a lot of people of the 4 acknowledged tapir species live in between 20 and thirty years. Their constant life expectancy might be due to their plus size, challenging hides, and various other all-natural defenses restrict their variety of real predators in the wild.

Tapir Population

All the acknowledged Tapir species are detailed as either vulnerable or endangered on wild animals preservation checklists. None of the 4 species have a population larger than 4,500 in the wild. Researchers think that the Malayan Tapir might have a population as reduced as 3.000 left worldwide. The Baird Tapir’s matter is just somewhat far better at 4,500 animals.

Tapirs in the Zoo

TThese animals usually make it through well at the zoo. Their life span is remarkably similar whether they remain in bondage or out in the wild. These animals usually live for 20 to thirty years, yet some samplings have actually lived 35 years or even more at the zoo. As a matter of fact, the San Diego Zoo has a well established reproduction program that has actually caused greater than 30 infant Tapirs being birthed over the last 80 years.

Tapirs can be maintained with various other species belonging to Central America, South America, or Asia. For instance, Tapirs reside in the very same exhibition as capybaras and guanacos at the San Diego Zoo.


  1. Wikipedia, Available here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tapir
  2. National Geographic, Available here: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/group/tapirs/
  3. Live Science, Available here: https://www.livescience.com/55207-tapir-facts.html#:~:text=Tapirs%20are%20the%20most%20primitive,to%2023%20million%20years%20ago).
  4. Animal Corner, Available here: https://animalcorner.org/animals/tapir/
  5. Mongabay, Available here: https://kids.mongabay.com/animal-profiles/malayan_tapir.html

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