tapir


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Related to tapir: capibara, Brazilian Tapir

tapir

(tā`pər), nocturnal, herbivorous mammal, genus Tapirus, of the jungles of Central and South America and SE Asia. The tapir is somewhat piglike in appearance; however, it is not related to the pig, but to the horsehorse,
hoofed, herbivorous mammal now represented by a single extant genus, Equus. The term horse commonly refers only to the domestic Equus caballus and to the wild Przewalski's horse.
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 and the rhinocerosrhinoceros,
massive hoofed mammal of Africa, India, and SE Asia, characterized by a snout with one or two horns. The rhinoceros family, along with the horse and tapir families, forms the order of odd-toed hoofed mammals.
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, with which it forms the order of odd-toed hoofed mammals. The body of the tapir is rounded and covered with sparse fur. Its snout is long and flexible. The legs are short and end in broad feet with hoofed toes; there are four toes on the front feet and five on the hind feet. Tapirs live in dense forest, browsing by night on leaves and twigs. Usually found near water, they swim well and drink a great deal. They often take to water when threatened and can crash through thick underbrush with great speed.

The Asian, or Malayan, tapir, T. indicus, of Malaya and Sumatra, is black with a white saddle extending over the rump. The adult is about 3 ft (90 cm) high at the shoulder and 6 to 8 ft (180–240 cm) long; it weighs about 650 lb (300 kg). The Malayan tapir is considered endangered. There are three New World species. The South American, or Brazilian, tapir, T. terrestris, inhabits marshy lowlands from Colombia to N Argentina. The adult, a little smaller than the Asian species, is a uniform dark brown, but the young is conspicuously striped and spotted. The Central American, or Baird's, tapir, T. bairdi, is similarly colored but almost as large as a donkey. It is found in undisturbed rain forests from S Mexico to NW South America; because of the continuous elimination of this habitat the existence of this species is threatened. The mountain tapir, T. pinchaque, is found at high altitudes in the Andes Mts. and has thick, black fur.

Tapirs were widely distributed in tropical regions until the Pleistocene epoch, when most species became extinct. They are classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
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, subphylum Vertebrata, class Mammalia, order Perissodactyla, family Tapiridae.

tapir

[′tā·pər]
(vertebrate zoology)
Any of several large odd-toed ungulates of the family Tapiridae that have a heavy, sparsely hairy body, stout legs, a prehensile muzzle, a short tail, and small eyes.

tapir

any perissodactyl mammal of the genus Tapirus, such as T. indicus (Malayan tapir), of South and Central America and SE Asia, having an elongated snout, three-toed hind legs, and four-toed forelegs: family Tapiridae
References in periodicals archive ?
In total, samples were obtained from 47 tapirs (18 adult females, one sub-adult female, one juvenile female, 19 adult males, three sub-adult males and five juvenile males).
Actualmente, la distribucion del tapir centroamericano esta restringida, se ubica principalmente en areas conservadas y poco accesibles a la actividad humana (Matola et al.
El objetivo de la investigacion consistio en caracterizar la actividad de lisozima en leche de tapir y analizar comparativamente el comportamiento frente a diferentes temperaturas de la lisozima presente en la leche de tres especies de perisodactilos: Tapirus terrestris, Equus caballus y Equus asinus.
Introducing zoo-bred animals to the wild is only one of the strategies being employed by Proyecto Tapir participants, which include RAAS regional authorities, personnel from the Ministerio del Ambiente y los Recursos Naturales (MARENA), and researchers from Michigan State University (MSU) in the US.
A zoo spokesman could not confirm if mum Patricia Frost had signed any health and safety form before going into the tapir enclosure.
Numbers of tapir, which are related to rhino and horses, have plummeted by 50 per cent in the past 36 years.
Saving a patient can be an adrenaline pumping experience for any doctor - but for Zookeepers in Denver, the fact they were trying to resuscitate a baby Tapir added an extra element of challenge.
On 24 August, the Economist reported how Chariot's decision, together with farm-out partners, Petrobras and BP, to go ahead with the drilling of the Kabeljou well in late July was paying dividends despite the initial scepticism from investors following the setback on the Tapir South well.
PATTERNS OF MINERAL LICK VISITATION BY LOWLAND TAPIR (Tapirus terrestris) AND LOWLAND PACA (Cuniculus paca) IN A WESTERN AMAZONIAN RAINFOREST IN ECUADOR