Baird's Tapir

Tapirus bairdii


Domain Eukarya: Organisms that are in Domain Eukarya have a nucleus and can multicellular or single celled.

Kingdom Animalia: Animals are multicellular, heterotrophs, and are capable of movement.

Phylum Chordata: Chordates share characteristics such as bilateral symmetry, a complete digestive system, and the presence of a bony or cartilaginous endoskelton.

Subphylum Vertebrata: Vertebrates have a long vertebrae from head to tail, a digestive system with large organs and are able to move because of it's muscles attached to it's endoskeleton.

Class Mammalia: Mammals have three middle ear bones, hair and produce milk.

Order Perissodactyla: Perissodactyls have three toes and the middle one is longer. They also have total of 44 teeth and a simple stomach compared to most artiodactyls.

Family Tapiridae: Tapirs come from the Tapiridae family.

Genus Tapirus: Tapirs come from the Tapirus genus.

Species: Tapirus bairdii


Shoulder height: Baird's Tapirs are about 73 to 120 cm tall

Head and Body length- Baird's Tapir are about 180 to 250 cm in length

Weight: Baird's Tapirs weigh about 150 to 300 kilograms

Color: Tapirs are brown from above and pale under. They have white fringes around their ears, lips and sometimes have a white patch on their throat and chest. Baby tapirs have a reddish brown coat and whites stripes/spots.

Range: Baird's tapir range between southern Mexico to about Columbia in Central America, and Ecuador.

Food Habits/ Diets: Baird's Tapirs are herbivores and mostly eat leaves, but they also eat fruit, twigs, flowers, sedge, and grasses. When in season, fruits are preferred, but the amount varies by the habitat.

Habitat: Tapirs live in tropical rain forests, where it is wet and has a good water supply.

Predators: The main predator of Baird's Tapirs are humans, but pumas can attack the young.

Physical Adaptations

Tapir's have short legs that help them adapt to fast movement in the underbrush. Tapirs also have a snout and upper lips, which form a proboscis that help them find food. Baird Tapirs are masters of camouflage. This helps them survive because at night they blend into their surroundings, which protects them from predators. Baird Tapirs are well muscles helping them survive by making them strong and can easily defend themselves when they are charging at one another. Tapirs have mobile snouts that can be turned, extended, and withdrawn, which gives the tapir the power to search the ground area about a foot in diameter without moving its neck. This helps them survive because they can find food easier.

Behavioral Adaptations

When tapirs are disturbed they dive into water or run into thick brush. This helps them survive because if they were disturbed by a predator then they can stay safe and away from the predator. Baird Tapirs are nocturnal to avoid the hottest part of the days. This helps them survive because if they go out in the day time they could overheat and potentially die.Baird Tapirs sense of smell and their hearing are important survival adaptions. This helps them survive because they can detect potential predators and can find food. Baird Tapirs are good at running, sliding, diving, and swimming. they are agile in water and in open or closed habitats. This helps them survive because they can quickly get away from predators and stay safe. Tapirs mark their territory with urine. This helps them survive because they mark their territory where their needs for food, water, and shelter are met. Baird Tapirs sleep in wallowing holes in the dry season and near them in the wet season. This helps them survive because if they don't sleep near a water source then they could become dehydrated and potentially die.


For Pictures:

For Information:

Burton, M., & Burton, R. (2002). Baird tapir. In International wildlife encyclopedia v.1 (AAR-BAR) (3rd ed., Vol. 19, pp. 2630-2632). New York, NY: Marshall Cavendish.

Tapirus bardii. (n.d.). Retrieved from Encyclopedia of Life website:

Wells, J. 2009. "Tapirus bairdii" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed March 11, 2015 at