Average lifespan in the wild: 25 to 30 years
Size: Height at shoulder, 29 to 42 in (74 to 107 cm)
Weight: 500 to 800 lbs (227 to 363 kg)
Group name: Candle
Protection status: Endangered
Tapirs look something like pigs with trunks, but they are actually related to horses and rhinoceroses. This eclectic lineage is an ancient one and so is the tapir itself. Scientists believe that these animals have changed little over tens of millions of years.
What does a tapir look like?
Tapirs have a short prehensile (gripping) trunk, which is really an extended nose and upper lip. They use this trunk to grab branches and clean them of leaves or to help pluck tasty fruit. Tapirs feed each morning and evening. During these hours they follow tunnel-like paths, worn through the heavy brush by many a tapir footstep, to reach water holes and lush feeding grounds. As they roam and defecate they deposit the seeds they have consumed and promote future plant growth.
Where do tapirs live?
New World tapirs generally live in the forests and grasslands of Central and South America. A notable exception is the mountain (or woolly), tapir, which lives high in the Andes Mountains. Woolly tapirs, named for their warm and protective coat, are the smallest of all tapirs.
What does a tapir eat?
The tapir is a herbivore and spends it's time browsing for food to eat. The tapir eats leaves, twigs, branches, buds, shoots, berries, fruits and aquatic plants. Due to it's large size, the tapir has few natural predators in it's environment but it is known to be prey upon by wild cats such as tigers, jaguars and cougars along with large reptiles like crocodiles and even the odd snake. The human is believed to be the most common predator of the tapir as they have been hunted for food and even domesticated in some areas.
Can tapirs swim?
Though they appear densely built, tapirs are at home in the water and often submerge to cool off. They are excellent swimmers and can even dive to feed on aquatic plants. They also wallow in mud, perhaps to remove pesky ticks from their thick hides.
Download free Tapir wallpapers, click on the image to open the large version.
Tapir wallpaper 1
Tapir wallpaper 2
Tapir wallpaper 3
Tapir wallpaper 4
Tapir wallpaper 5
Tapir wallpaper 6
Tapir Coloring pages
Print free Tapir coloring pages, click on the image to open the large version.