The tapir is a special animal whose appearance is very distinctive. The tapir shares the same body shape with a pig, but with a long muscular trunk. This proboscis uses it as a snorkel when lying in the water. There are 4 different species of tapirs in the world, namely lowland tapir, mountain tapir, bairds tapir and creator tapir.
Facts about tapir
|Location:||Southeast Asia, Central and South America|
|Life expectancy:||35 years|
|Size:||170-250 cm long and 70-120 cm high|
|Fun fact:||Its feces are small frogs that act as fertilizer. Thus, the tapir’s feces help to create more forest|
Tapirs have a pig-like compact body, and are medium in size. Tapirs are 170-250 centimeters long and 70-120 centimeters high. In addition, they weigh 150-540 kilos, both males and females are the same size. The body of the tapir gets wider and a little higher at the back end. The tapir has a very clumsy appearance, with short legs and tail, all while its body is large. In addition, its body, head and neck almost merge into one, where its head resembles something flattened. The tapir also has a muscular trunk, which the tapir can pull in and out. On the trunk sits its nostril at the end, which is formed by the upper lip and nose. The tapir’s body is covered with a thin coat, however, the mountain tapir’s coat is thicker as it lives up in the mountains. Baird’s tapir, mountain tapir and lowland tapir all have brown to black fur. Where the creative act is completely different,
According to DigoPaul, tapirs are herbivores. They eat marsh plants, fruits, grass, fresh branches, shoots, shrubs, aquatic plants and leaves from trees. Tapirs typically rest during the day and are active at night, searching for food. Here they make use of their proboscis, which helps them to smell where there is fresh food nearby. The mountain tapir has an important function as a seed spreader high up in the Andes, where it belongs. Its faeces contain many plant seeds from the plants it eats. Therefore, when it spreads its feces around the Andes, it does so, creating more forest.
The female and male are only seen when it is time to mate. Then the female is pregnant for approx. 13 months, where she typically has one young, however, it can also happen that they have twins. When the baby is born, it weighs 4-7 kilos. It suckles in the mother until it is approx. 10-12 months old. The young are the first 6 months all brown with white stripes and spots. The pattern acts as a kind of camouflage, which makes the kid almost invisible when hiding in long grass or dense bushes. After the 6 months, the baby has the same color as the parents. After 6-8 months, the baby begins to move alone, and when it is approx. 1 year, it leaves the mother and goes its own ways. Tapirs become sexually mature when they are 3-4 years old, this applies to both females and males.
Tapirs are not a herd animal. The male and female are only seen together when it is time for mating. Otherwise, the females are seen with their young, where the male lives alone. Tapirs have large territories that are marked with urine. The males typically have a territory of 5-10 km2, which is many times larger than the female’s territory. If foreign males enter the male’s territory unannounced, there is often a fight between the males. During the day, the tapir rests either in a water hole, in a mud hole or a bush. They love to lie in the water as they rest and cool off here – and are also good swimmers. In the water, they are also “protected” from blood mites, ticks and other parasites. Therefore, they also go many times in mud baths, which cleanse the skin of all the annoying parasites.
The tapir family belongs to the order called “the unpaired ungulates”. In the tapir family, there are four different species in the world; lowland tapes, mountain tapes, Bairds tapes and creative tapes. Where everyone lives in Central and South America, except the creator actapir, who lives in Southeast Asia. Baird’s tapir is also called Central American tapir. The tapir family is a kind of living fossil. They are because these strange animals as a group have not changed much over the last 30 million years. The tapir’s biggest natural enemies are the jaguar and the puma in South America, and the tiger in Southeast Asia.
Travelers’ questions about the tapir
Where does the tapir live?
The tapir is found in Southeast Asia, Central America and South America.
They live best in areas where there is forest and in open areas with grass. Common to the tapir’s habitat is that it is always near water. There are four different species of tapirs, all of which live in different parts of the world.
Skaberaktapiren lives in Southeast Asia. Among others in countries such as Burma, Thailand, Malaysia and Sumatra. Here it lives in tropical rainforest, swamp forests and in open areas with grass.
The lowland tapir lives in South America. The areas where it is found are from Colombia and Venezuela down through Brazil and Paraguay. In South America, it lives in tropical rainforest and in open areas where blankets of grass and herbs can be found.
Baird’s tapir lives in Central America and South America. It is found from southern Mexico down through Central America to Colombia and Ecuador. It lives in tropical forests – including rainforests.
Mountain tapir lives in South America. Here it lives high up in the Andes in Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. Hence the name “mountain tapir”, where it is found at an altitude of 4,500 meters. It lives up in the mountains where there is grass and mountain forests.
Do tapirs make noise when they mate?
Yes – when mating occurs, the tapirs squeal loudly
In general, tapirs communicate using loud noises. These loud noises are especially used during mating where they experience enjoyment. In addition, they can also scream loudly when communicating with the cubs or scaring other adults away from their territory.
Are tapirs an endangered animal?
Yes – especially the mountain tapir and the bairds tapir are endangered.
What makes it endangered is because they are in danger of becoming extinct in the near future. In addition, they are hunted from the forests they live in because those forests are destroyed / felled. This means that the tapirs do not have as many places to live and thrive. By changing their habitat, it means that they do not mate as much, thus expanding the population of tapirs.
All tapirs are protected, which means that it is illegal to kill them. This is not taken into account and many tapirs are still shot illegally. Those who kill tapirs use their meat or skins. Especially the mountain tapir is endangered because of its flesh. Its meat is used for medicine.