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Tapirs: Tapiridae

Physical Characteristics

Tapirs (TAY-purz) have muscular bodies that are powerful enough to push through thick jungle growth. Males are slightly smaller than females. The head is small with flat sides and a slight upward arch. The front trunk acts as a nose. Eyes are small and the ears are round and able to move on their own. The rump is flat. Tapirs are skinnier than rhinos, and their short legs are powerful.

The tapir's weight rests on the third toe of each of the four feet. Hind feet are three-toed, while front feet are four-toed. In three of the four species, the coat is short; the mountain tapir has longer fur. Coat color varies and can be dun, a reddish brown color, whitish gray, coal black, and black-and-white two-tone. Newborns have horizontal stripes and dots for the first year.

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceMammalsTapirs: Tapiridae - Physical Characteristics, Habitat, Diet, Behavior And Reproduction, Tapirs And People, Lowland Tapir (tapirus Terrestris): Species Accounts - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, CONSERVATION STATUS