Apart from mothers and their young offspring, tapirs lead almost exclusively solitary lives.
Tapirs have brachyodont, or low-crowned, teeth that lack cement.
The tapir as a group provides a value for the ecosystem and for humans at the same time that it advances its own individual purpose of maintenance, survival, and reproduction.
The natural lifespan of a tapir is approximately 25 to 30 years, both in the wild and in zoos.
Along with fresh water lounging, tapirs often wallow in mud pits, which also helps to keep them cool and free of insects.
Hybrid tapirs from the Baird's tapir and the Brazilian tapir were bred at the San Francisco Zoo around 1969 and produced a second generation around 1970 (TG 2007b).
Tapirs have splayed, hoofed toes, with four toes on the front feet and three on the hind feet.
In Chinese, the name of this beast, subsequently the name of the tapir, is mт in Mandarin and mek in Cantonese.
Female Malayan tapirs reach sexual maturity between three and four years of age (males at five years of age) (WPZ 2007), with females coming into oestrus every two or three months (WPZ 2007; BBC 2007).
Tapirs tend to prefer old growth forests and the food sources that can be found in them, making the preservation of primary woodlands a top priority for tapir conservationists.
Tapirs are generally shy, but when they are scared they can defend themselves with their very powerful jaws.
The proboscis of the tapir is a highly flexible structure, able to move in all directions, allowing the animals to grab foliage that would otherwise be out of reach.
Tapirs have brown eyes, often with a bluish cast to them which has been identified as corneal cloudiness, a condition most commonly found in Malayan tapirs.
Tapirs often exhibit the flehmen response, a posture in which they raise their snouts and show their teeth, in order to detect scents.
Baby tapirs of all types have striped-and-spotted coats for camouflage, and while they appear at first glance to be alike, there are some differences among the patterns of different species.
Tapirs are lophodonts, and their cheek teeth have distinct lophs (ridges) between protocones, paracones, metacones, and hypocones (Myers et al.
Perissodactyls, including tapiroids, became the predominant large terrestrial browsers through the Oligocene, and many members of the group survived until the late Pleistocene.
Tapirs inhabit jungle and forest regions of South America, Central America, and Southeast Asia.
Tapirs are largely nocturnal and crepuscular, although the smaller mountain tapir of the Andes is generally more active during the day than its congeners.
In 1998, a zookeeper in Oklahoma City was mauled and had an arm severed by a tapir bite, after she attempted to feed the attacking tapir's young (Hughes 1998).
All tapirs have oval, white-tipped ears, and rounded, protruding rear ends with stubby tails.
In Chinese, Korean, and Japanese, the tapir is named after a beast from Chinese mythology.
Tapir (pronounced as in "taper," or IPA "t??p??r," pronounced as in "tap-ear") are large, browsing, mammals with short, prehensile snouts comprising the Tapridae family of the odd-toed ungulates (Perissodactyla order).
Baird’s Tapirs have been observed to eat around 40 kilograms (85 pounds) of vegetation in one day (Todd and Wilson 2001).
Lack of genetic diversity in tapir populations has become a major source of concern for conservationists.
Proboscis length varies among species; Malayan tapirs have the longest snouts and Brazilian tapirs have the shortest (Witmer et al.
Adult tapirs are large enough that they have few natural predators, and the thick skin on the backs of their necks helps to protect them from threats such as jaguars, crocodiles, anacondas, and tigers.
Habitat loss has isolated already small populations of wild tapirs, putting each group in greater danger of dying out completely.
Under good conditions, a healthy female tapir can reproduce every two years; a single youngster is born after a gestation of about 13 months.
The tapir family is old by mammalian standards.