Big image
Look at that log in the water. Wait! It’s not a log it is a tapir swimming. Read on to find out about the tapirs’ appearance, habitat, prey, and about their friends and enemies.


The four species of tapirs all have similar appearances except when it comes to their coat. Malayan tapirs are three feet at the shoulders and on its back, rump, and side is a white color while the rest are a glossy black or a glossy dark brown on their thinly haired body. American tapirs have a short, heavy body that has a thick neck. When they are full grown their color is a dark brown or black color. All tapirs have a move able snout and the snout looks like a short trunk. The four front toes are covered by small hooves and the same with the back three toes. Their sturdy body has a short tail about three inches long and has short slender legs. The average height is about three feet, or about the size of a small donkey. It is about six to eight feet long and weighs about 500-700 pounds. The young have yellow stripes and spots on their sides, but after six months the adult markings appear. The skin of a tapir is thick, smooth, and has few hairs which makes them look like pigs. The mammals have a great sense of smell and hearing which makes up for their poor eyesight and shyness. Tapirs have a unique appearance.
Big image


Two tapirs live in forests while the other two live in the mountains. The tapirs are found in the Americas and Southern Asia. In Southern Asia is Malaysia so, in Malaysia is the Malay Peninsula and in the Americas is South/Central America. The mountain and baird's tapirs live in the Andes mountains at heights of 14,000 feet while the Malayan and American tapir live in the depths of the tropical rain forest near swampy or marshy areas. By day, they prefer shelters in thickets waiting for night. This rain forest inhabitant lives in a normal tropical environment.
Big image


Tapirs are herbivores ,so they like plants. They eat leaves, fruits, vegetables, foliage of trees and shrubs, twigs, low growing plants, and water plants. They can use their trunk to pluck fruit off trees because they can stretch to one full foot in size. When they graze, they move their trunk aside to eat like a horse. Tapirs search for food at night when it is cooler. The animal is known to eat up to 85 pounds in vegetation in one day. Tapirs have different eating habits and food than some.
Big image

Friends and Enemies

Tapirs have more enemies than friends. They are usually solitary and are in danger of extinction because of their enemies: cougars, crocodiles, jaguars, tigers, and humans. When threatened their dark brown or black coat helps them hide in spots of light in the forest because they look like dirt or dead leaves. If it is being chased it will escape by swimming because they can swim and dive easily. Some tapirs are rare in areas because of people cutting down tropical rain forests and hunting them for their flesh and thick hides. Others try to make indians kill them for religious reasons but some tribes refuse. They look like pigs but are related to horses and rhinoceroses not pigs, so they are not fighters.
The tapir may become extinct if you don’t help, so help this animal because you now know about it’s appearance, habitat, prey, and friends and enemies. Now what stops you from stopping people cutting down the tropical rain forests? Nothing now, so go tell more humans about the rain forests.


Ganeri, Anita, and Robert Morton. Explore the World of Exotic Rainforests. New York: Golden Book, 1992. Print.

Ricciuti, Edward R. Rainforest. New York: Marshall Cavendish, 1996. Print.

"Tapir." Britannica School. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 2016. Web. 23 Feb. 2016. <http://school.eb.com/levels/high/article/71245>.

Tapir. Children's Britannica. Encyclopedia Britannica, 1988. Print.

Tapir. Landau, Elaine. Tropical Forest Mammals. New York: Children's, 1996. Print.

"Tapir (Rainforest) - Facts, Diet & Habitat Information." Animal Corner. Web. 22 Feb. 2016.

"Tapiridae (tapirs)." Animal Diversity Web. Web. 19 Feb. 2016.

"Tapirs, Tapir Pictures, Tapir Facts - National Geographic." National Geographic. Web. 19 Feb. 2016.

"Tapir." (us). Web. 19 Feb. 2016.

Tapir. World Book. Chicago, IL: World Book, 2005. Print.