Mammals: Baird tapir

Mammals: Baird tapir

Systematic classification

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Perissodactyla
Family: Tapiridae
Kind: Tapir
Species: T. indicus - Gill, 1865

It is present in the equatorial forest areas of Central America, including Southern Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panama and Colombia.
The species is extinct in El Salvador, its presence in Ecuador is doubtful.

Distinctive characters

The Baird Tapir is the largest of the American tapir species, reaching 2 m in length and 1.2 m in height, and weighing between 240 and 400 kg.
Like the other tapirs, it has a small, stocky tail and a short proboscis. It has four fingers on the front legs and three fingers on the rear ones.

Tapir of Baird (photo

Tapir of Baird (photo


It mainly moves at night and feeds on leaves and fruits collected on the ground. He loves to spend many hours immersed in pools and ponds.
He generally leads a solitary life, although it is not uncommon to meet small groups formed mostly young people with their mothers. They communicate with each other with shrill whistles and squeaks. Lives up to 30 years.
Gestation lasts approximately 400 days. The female usually gives birth to only one baby (twin parts are very rare). The puppies have a reddish fur with white spots and stripes. For the first week of life, the young remain hidden and the mother feeds them by returning periodically to their lair. After this period they begin to follow the mother on her expeditions in search of food. By the third week of life I am already able to swim. Weaning is completed at the end of the first year of life.
Young tapirs reach sexual maturity around 18-24 months.

Based on the criteria of the IUCN Red List, the species is considered endangered.

Video: BRAZILIAN TAPIR with five legs at Melbourne zoo - Australia (January 2022).