Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Baird's Tapir

The Baird's tapir (Tapirus bairdii) is a species of tapir found in South America.  They are nocturnals and become active only during the night.

Breeding                                                                        Mother and baby tapir
The Baird's tapir has a similar life cycle as that of a mountain tapir.  It has a gestation period of 400 days and like all tapirs, it has a reddish coat with stripes and spots.  The mother will leave the babies in a safe place and then go in search of food.  This will continue for a week.  After sometime, the babies will also accompany the mother in looking for food.  The Baird's tapir can live for 30 years.

Physical Features
The Baird's tapir is the largest wild land mammal of South America.  The generally grow 6.6 feet.  They normally weigh 270 kilograms but the heaviest specimen was 400 kilograms.  Like all tapirs, they have a stubby tail.  They have a cream colored throat and face.  They have a dark spot on their cheeks, behind and below their eye.  They have four toes on the front foot and three toes on the back foot.  It has a long and flexible snout like all tapirs.

They are found in  Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras,Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panama, Colombia, and Ecuador.

Like all tapirs, The Bard's tapir love water.  They are excellent swimmers and spend most of their day near water.  Even though they are active at all hours sometimes, they are primarily nocturnal.  They normally lead a solitary life but are sometimes seen in small herds.  They communicate with other tapirs using shrill noises.  They can be aggressive when approached.  If approached, they can chase people for short distances.  These incidents rarely happen.

Source of picture 1:http://yaaxche.wordpress.com/2009/05/15/-species-day-looking-at-the-bairds-tapir/
Source of picture 2 :http://animal.discovery.com/guides/endangered/mammals/bairds-tapir.html

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