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Baird's Tapir
Baird's Tapir
General Information
Universe Real Life
Aliases Anteburro
Cash-i-tzimin (Jungle Horse)
Danta
Ekwilamakkatola
Ekwirmakka
Macho de monte
Moli
Mountain Cow
Niguanchan
Oloalikinyalilele
Oloalikinyappi
Oloswikinyaliler
Tzemen
Classification Tapirus bairdii
Species Type Tapir
Homeworld Earth
Environment Central America
South America
Intelligence Non-sapient
Biochemistry Carbon-based lifeform
Biological Information
Lifespan Over 30 years
Reproduction Sexual
Average Height 1.2 m (3.9 ft)
Average Weight 150 to 400 kilograms (330 to 880 lb)
Average Length 2 m (6.6 ft) excluding tail
Tail: 7–13 cm (2.8–5.1 in)
Feeding Behavior Herbivore
Predators Human
American Crocodile
Jaguar
Lineage Information
Subspecies Lowland Tapir
Malayan Tapir
Mountain Tapir
Cultural Information
Alignment Neutral
Personality Nocturnal herbivore
Adults may be aggressive
Organization Normally solitary
Feeding groups not uncommon
Sociocultral characteristics
Scientific Taxonomy
Planet Earth
Domain Eukaryota
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Mammalia
Order Perissodactyla
Family Tapiridae
Genus Tapirus
Species bairdii
Other Information
Status Endangered

Baird's Tapir (Tapirus bairdii) is a species of tapir native to Central America and northern South America. It is the largest land mammal in Central America.

DescriptionEdit

Baird's tapir has a distinctive cream-colored marking on its face and throat and a dark spot on each cheek, behind and below the eye. The rest of its hair is dark brown or grayish-brown. This tapir is the largest of the three American species and the largest native land mammal in both Central and South America. Baird's tapirs average up to 2 m (6.6 ft) in length, not counting a stubby, vestigal tail of 7–13 cm (2.8–5.1 in), and 1.2 m (3.9 ft) in height. Body mass in adults can range from 150 to 400 kilograms (330 to 880 lb). Like the other species of tapirs, they have small, stubby tails and long, flexible proboscises. They have four toes on each front foot and three toes on each back foot.

LifecycleEdit

Baird's Tapir Adult & Baby

An adult and juvenile Baird's Tapir.

The gestation period is about 400 days, after which one offspring is born. Multiple births are extremely rare. The babies, as with all species of tapir, have reddish-brown hair with white spots and stripes, a camouflage which affords them excellent protection in the dappled light of the forest. This pattern eventually fades into the adult coloration.

For the first week of their lives, infant Baird's tapirs are hidden in secluded locations while their mothers forage for food and return periodically to nurse them. Later, the young follow their mothers on feeding expeditions. At three weeks of age, the young are able to swim. Weaning occurs after one year, and sexual maturity is usually reached six to 12 months later. Baird's tapirs can live for over 30 years.

BehaviorEdit

Baird's tapir may be active at all hours, but is primarily nocturnal. It forages for leaves and fallen fruit, using well-worn tapir paths which zig-zag through the thick undergrowth of the forest. The animal usually stays close to water and enjoys swimming and wading—on especially hot days, individuals will rest in a watering hole for hours with only their heads above water.

It generally leads a solitary life, though feeding groups are not uncommon and individuals, especially those of different ages (young with their mothers, juveniles with adults) are often observed together. The animals communicate with one another through shrill whistles and squeaks.

Adults can be potentially dangerous to humans and should not be approached if spotted in the wild. The animal being most likely to follow or chase a human for a bit, though they have been known to charge and gore humans on rare occasions.

PredationEdit

An adult Baird's tapir, being such a massive mammal, has very few natural predators. Only large adult American crocodiles (4 metres or 13 feet or more) and adult jaguars are capable of preying on tapirs, although even in these cases the outcomes are unpredictable and, more often than not, in the tapir's favor (as is evident on multiple tapirs documented in Corcovado National Park with large claw marks covering their hides).

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