Gabriela the tapir

common nameconservation status
 South American tapir, Brazilian tapir or lowland tapir Vulnerable (VU)
scientific namesize
 Tapirus terrestris  1.8-2.5 m (5.9-8.2 ft)
 Tapiridae 150-320 kg (330-710 lb)
 Perissodactyla ♂♀ 25 – 30 years
class gestation period
 Mammalia 13 months
 population diet
Not estimated (↓decreasing) It is a herbivore. It feeds on leaves, twigs, aquatic plants and fruits mainly.
 Rainforests, areas close to rivers and swamps.It lives in warm areas of South America; Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guiana, Paraguay, Peru and Venezuela.

Did you know...


They are excellent swimmers and divers, and they always live in areas close to the water. They can also run quite fast on land.



Its main predators are crocodiles, jaguars and cougars.



Tapirs have a short proboscis (trunk) as snout that they use to grab branches, leaves, fruits and foods, and shovel them into their mouth. It is especially useful to pluck aquatic plants and drink water.



Tapirs are considered living fossils, as the species has changed very little over millions of years. They remain very similar to their ancestors from 55 million years ago.



There are five species of tapir, four of them in South America. The fifth is the Malayan tapir, which lives on the other side of the world, in Asia, and looks like its tapir relatives, but with the colors of a panda, black and white.



When it feels threatened, it runs and plunges into the water, diving under the surface to escape.


Baby tapirs have a very different coat color pattern from adults, with light stripes all over their body that fade as they get older, after 6 months. These serve as camouflage against predators.



They have a compact body and robust head and neck, which allows them to easily make their way through the vegetation of the rainforests where they live.



They have four toes encased in hooves on each front feet and only three on each back foot.



During the day they rest in the middle of thick vegetation near swamps and rivers and they usually start being active at dusk, as they are largely nocturnal.



The closest relatives of tapirs are rhinos and horses.



Females can only give birth to one single calf per litter, with a gestation period of more than a year. Calves stay with their mother around 18 months until they are fully grown.



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