Malayan Tapir Facts!

Malayan Tapir Tapirus indicus by Ltshears cc3.0

Malayan Tapir Facts!

Malayan Tapir Tapirus indicus by Ltshears cc3.0

The Malayan Tapirs are the largest of the five species of tapir in the world and are also the only one native to Asia.

Appearance and Diet

Malayan tapir (Tapirus indicus). Image credit: Allie_Caulfield cc2.0

They grow 7 – 8 feet in length. The front half of their body and hind legs are black while the rear half is white. This pattern blurs its outline allowing the tapir to blend into the shady forest surrounding. The head of the tapir is a bit like the anteater’s head with its long snout which protrudes downwards. This tapir eats grass, leaves, twigs, fruits and aquatic vegetation. It uses its long snout to pick low hanging fruits and plants that are underwater. The tapir’s vision is not very good therefore it depends on its keen sense of smell and hearing to survive.

Appearances are Deceptive

Image credit: Bardrock cc3.0

The tapir might appear to be related to pigs, but in fact its closest relatives are horses and rhinos. The tapir seems like a clumsily and slow animal, but it can actually run really fast when threatened. Its streamlined shape allows it to crash through the forest underbrush easily. And also since it can swim and dive, it can find safety from predators in the water. Its jaws are strong and teeth long, which enables it to inflict a severe bite.

Young Tapirs

Juvenile tapir by Dinkum cc3.0

Females give birth to a single calf at a time. Juvenile tapirs have brown hair, patterned with white stripes and spots. But this coloration fades to the adult’s colour within 4-7 months.

Malayan tapirs are featured in the following book:
25 Endangered Animals

The YouTube video playlist below contains videos about Malayan tapirs. Details of the videos featured are underneath.

The Playlist:

  1. Endangered Species – Episode One – The Malayan Tapir by zooofknowled
  2. Rare Baby Malayan Tapir Born at Wild Animal Park by KentAnimalPark
  3. Tapir mom and baby cuteness by dahalcon



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