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Tapir
Tapirs ( ) are large, herbivorous mammals belonging to the family Tapiridae. They are similar in shape to a pig, with a short, prehensile nose trunk. Tapirs inhabit jungle and forest regions of South and Central America, with one species inhabiting Southeast Asia. They are one of three extant branches of Perissodactyla (odd-toed ungulates), alongside equines and rhinoceros. Only a single genus, ''Tapirus'' is currently extant. Tapirs migrated into South America during the Pleistocene epoch from North America after the formation of the Isthmus of Panama as part of the Great American Interchange. Tapirs were once widespread in North America until the arrival of humans at the end of the Late Pleistocene, around 12,000 years ago. Species There are four widely recognized extant species of tapir, all in the genus ''Tapirus'' of the family Tapiridae. They are the South American tapir, the Malayan tapir, Baird's tapir, and the mountain tapir. In 2013, a group of researchers ...
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South American Tapir
The South American tapir (''Tapirus terrestris''), also commonly called the Brazilian tapir (from the Tupi ''tapi'ira''), the Amazonian tapir, the maned tapir, the lowland tapir, the ''anta'' (Portuguese), and ''la sachavaca'' (literally "bushcow", in mixed Quechua and Spanish), is one of the four recognized species in the tapir family (of the order '' Perissodactyla'', with the mountain tapir, the Malayan tapir, and the Baird's tapir). It is the largest surviving native terrestrial mammal in the Amazon. Most classification taxons also include ''Tapirus kabomani'' (also known as the little black tapir or kabomani tapir) as also belonging to the species ''Tapirus terrestris'' (Brazilian tapir), despite its questionable existence and the overall lack of information on its habits and distribution. The specific epithet derives from ''arabo kabomani'', the word for tapir in the local Paumarí language. The formal description of this tapir did not suggest a common name for the species ...
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Kabomani Tapir
The South American tapir (''Tapirus terrestris''), also commonly called the Brazilian tapir (from the Tupi ''tapi'ira''), the Amazonian tapir, the maned tapir, the lowland tapir, the ''anta'' (Portuguese), and ''la sachavaca'' (literally "bushcow", in mixed Quechua and Spanish), is one of the four recognized species in the tapir family (of the order '' Perissodactyla'', with the mountain tapir, the Malayan tapir, and the Baird's tapir). It is the largest surviving native terrestrial mammal in the Amazon. Most classification taxons also include ''Tapirus kabomani'' (also known as the little black tapir or kabomani tapir) as also belonging to the species ''Tapirus terrestris'' (Brazilian tapir), despite its questionable existence and the overall lack of information on its habits and distribution. The specific epithet derives from ''arabo kabomani'', the word for tapir in the local Paumarí language. The formal description of this tapir did not suggest a common name for the species ...
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Malayan Tapir
The Malayan tapir (''Tapirus indicus''), also called Asian tapir, Asiatic tapir and Indian tapir, is the only tapir species native to Southeast Asia from the Malay Peninsula to Sumatra. It has been listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List since 2008, as the population is estimated to comprise fewer than 2,500 mature individuals. Taxonomy The scientific name ''Tapirus indicus'' was proposed by Anselme Gaëtan Desmarest in 1819 who referred to a tapir described by Pierre-Médard Diard. ''Tapirus indicus brevetianus'' was coined by a Dutch zoologist in 1926 who described a black Malayan tapir from Sumatra that had been sent to Rotterdam Zoo in the early 1920s. Phylogenetic analyses of 13 Malayan tapirs showed that the species is monophyletic. It was placed in the genus ''Acrocodia'' by Colin Groves and Peter Grubb in 2011. However, a comparison of mitochondrial DNA of 16 perissodactyl species revealed that the Malayan tapir forms a sister group together with the ''Tapirus'' spec ...
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Mountain Tapir
The mountain tapir, also known as the Andean tapir or woolly tapir (''Tapirus pinchaque'') is the smallest of the four widely recognized species In biology, a species is the basic unit of classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity. A species is often defined as the largest group of organisms in which any two individuals of the appropriate s ... of tapir. It is the only one to live outside of tropical rainforests in the wild. It is most easily distinguished from other tapirs by its thick woolly coat and white lips. The species name comes from the term ''"La Pinchaque"'', an imaginary beast said to inhabit the same regions as the mountain tapir. Description Mountain tapirs are black or very dark brown, with occasional pale hairs flecked in amongst the darker fur. The fur becomes noticeably paler on the underside, around the anal region, and on the cheeks. A distinct white band runs around the lips, although it may vary in extent ...
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Baird's Tapir
The Baird's tapir (''Tapirus bairdii''), also known as the Central American tapir, is a species of tapir native to Mexico, Central America, and northwestern South America. It is the largest of the three species of tapir native to the Americas, as well as the largest native land mammal in both Central and South America. Names The Baird's tapir is named after the American naturalist Spencer Fullerton Baird, who traveled to Mexico in 1843 and observed the animals. However, the species was first documented by another American naturalist, W. T. White. Like the other American tapirs (the mountain tapir and the South American tapir), the Baird's tapir is commonly called ''danta'' by people in all areas. In the regions around Oaxaca and Veracruz, it is referred to as the ''anteburro''. Panamanians, and Colombians call it ''macho de monte'', and in Belize, where the Baird's tapir is the national animal, it is known as the mountain cow. In Mexico, it is called ''tzemen'' in Tzeltal ...
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Tapirus
''Tapirus'' is a genus of tapir which contains the three living American tapir species. The Malayan tapir is usually included in ''Tapirus'' as well, although some authorities have moved it into its own genus, '' Acrocodia''. Extant species The Kabomani tapir was at one point recognized as another living member of the genus, but is now considered to be nested within ''T. terrestris''. Evolution ''Tapirus'' first appeared in the Late Miocene in North America, with ''Tapirus webbi'' perhaps the oldest known fossil species. ''Tapirus'' spread into South America and Eurasia during the Pliocene. It has been suggested that the tapirs that inhabited North America during the Late Pleistocene may be derived from a South American species that remigrated north, perhaps '' Tapirus cristatellus''. Tapirs suffered large-scale extinctions at the end of the Pleistocene, and went completely extinct north of southern Mexico. Fossil species *†'' Tapirus arvernensis'' Croizet & Jobert, 1828 ...
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Protapirus
''Protapirus'' (Latin: "before" (pro), + Brazilian Indian: "tapir" (tapira)) is an extinct genus of tapir known from the Oligocene and Miocene of North America and Eurasia. Taxonomy The type species is ''Protapirus priscus'' from the Late Oligocene of Quercy, France. ''Protapirus'' is often considered the earliest true tapir, or at least a tapiroid who is the direct ancestor of the true tapir family (but not modern tapirs). Distribution and history The oldest species is the North American ''P. simplex'' from the White River Formation. A later North American species is ''P. obliquidens'' From North America, the genus spread into Eurasia during the Oligocene, with five species known from the Oligocene and Miocene of Europe and a single species (''P. gromovae'') from Kazakhstan Kazakhstan, officially the Republic of Kazakhstan, is a transcontinental country located mainly in Central Asia and partly in Eastern Europe. It borders Russia to the north and west, China to th ...
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Nexuotapirus
''Nexuotapirus'' is an extinct genus of tapir from the Late Oligocene and Early Miocene of North America. Taxonomy ''Nexuotapirus'' was erected in 1998. The type species, ''N. marslandensis'', was originally classified under '' Miotapirus''. The second species, ''N. robustus'', was originally placed in ''Protapirus'' but was also moved to ''Nexuotapirus'' based on comparable lower dentition. Description ''Nexuotapirus'' shows both plesiomorphic and derived features compared to other early tapirs, making its exact relationship with them difficult to place. Primitive traits of the genus include less molar-like premolars and incisive foramina that extend posteriorly through the postcanine diastema, as well as a braincase that tapers towards the back. More advanced features include deep retraction of the nasal incision, nasal shortening, frontal shortening, and reduction of the supraorbital process, features comparable to the modern ''Tapirus ''Tapirus'' is a genu ...
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Paratapirus
''Paratapirus'' is an extinct genus of tapir known from the Late Oligocene and Early Miocene of Europe. Taxonomy Two species are considered valid: *''P. helveticus'' *''P. intermedius'' The species ''P. moguntiacus'' and ''P. robustus'' are considered synonyms of ''P. intermedius''. Members of this genus were originally described under the name ''Palaeotapirus'' along with several other tapir genera, but that name is now considered abandoned since it was described from poor diagnostic material. Description ''Paratapirus'' was among the earliest known tapirs, and probably evolved from ''Protapirus'' which had migrated into Eurasia from North America North America is a continent in the Northern Hemisphere and almost entirely within the Western Hemisphere. It is bordered to the north by the Arctic Ocean, to the east by the Atlantic Ocean, to the southeast by South America and th ... near the end of the Oligocene. In comparison to ''Protapirus'' it had more d ...
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Great American Interchange
The Great American Biotic Interchange (commonly abbreviated as GABI), also known as the Great American Interchange and the Great American Faunal Interchange, was an important late Cenozoic paleozoogeographic biotic interchange event in which land and freshwater fauna migrated from North America via Central America to South America and vice versa, as the volcanic Isthmus of Panama rose up from the sea floor and bridged the formerly separated continents. Although earlier dispersals had occurred, probably over water, the migration accelerated dramatically about 2.7 million years ( Ma) ago during the Piacenzian age. It resulted in the joining of the Neotropic (roughly South American) and Nearctic (roughly North American) biogeographic realms definitively to form the Americas. The interchange is visible from observation of both biostratigraphy and nature ( neontology). Its most dramatic effect is on the zoogeography of mammals, but it also gave an opportunity for reptiles, amphibians ...
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Plesiotapirus
''Plesiotapirus'' is an extinct genus of tapir from the Miocene of Asia Asia (, ) is one of the world's most notable geographical regions, which is either considered a continent in its own right or a subcontinent of Eurasia, which shares the continental landmass of Afro-Eurasia with Africa. Asia covers an are .... A single species is usually considered valid, ''Plesiotapirus yagii''. It was first described in 1921 based on fragmentary dental remains found in Japan. Fossils of ''P. yagii'' were originally classified under the defunct genus ''Palaeotapirus''. Better material, including a complete skull, were found in China and in 1991 the genus ''Plesiotapirus'' was erected. References Prehistoric tapirs Miocene odd-toed ungulates Miocene mammals of Asia {{Paleo-oddtoedungulate-stub ...
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Miotapirus
''Miotapirus harrisonensis'' is an extinct species of tapir lived during the early Miocene Epoch some 20 million years ago in North America. Physically ''Miotapirus'' was virtually identical to its modern relatives; with a length of 2 m (6 ft 8 in) it was even the same size. Most likely it was also nocturnal Nocturnality is an animal behavior characterized by being active during the night and sleeping during the day. The common adjective is "nocturnal", versus diurnal meaning the opposite. Nocturnal creatures generally have highly developed sens ... and very adaptable. References Prehistoric tapirs Miocene odd-toed ungulates Miocene mammals of North America Taxa named by Erich Maren Schlaikjer Fossil taxa described in 1937 {{paleo-oddtoedungulate-stub ...
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