Brazilian Tapir


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Brazilian Tapir


The Brazilian Tapir, also called the Lowland Tapir, is a compact animal weighing about 600 pounds and measuring up to seven feet in length. It is the largest land mammal found in the Amazon region. Adults are gray or blackish and look somewhat like mini, land-dwelling hippopotamuses. They have long, rubbery snouts which extend past the mouth (like a mini elephant trunk) and a mane with sparse hair. Young tapirs are brownish with white spots and stripes. When running, they resemble a horse.

The Brazilian Tapir is an excellent swimmer and is capable of delivering a painful bite. They are the favorite prey of jaguars and caimans and are often taken while sleeping along the banks of a river or pond. They are also hunted by native peoples. Mostly solitary, the nocturnal tapir can live up to thirty years.


The herbivorous tapir feeds on leaves, buds, fruits and shoots which are collected with its long snout.

Habitat and Range

The Brazilian Tapir is found in forests, savannas, and wetlands of South America east of the Andes Mountains south to Paraguay and northern Argentina.


Female Brazilian Tapirs give birth to a single calf after a gestation period of about 400 days.


The Brazilian Tapir is listed as a vulnerable species, though it is probably the most numerous of the four tapir species in the world. They are threatened by habitat destruction and hunting.