Trivia question for Jul-19-2011
Carter picked this animal for his trivia as a dedication to the folks at the IUCN Tapir Specialist Group who work so hard to help these amazing creatures. They have stocky, yet streamlined bodies with short and slender legs which are ideal for pushing through the undergrowth.
The species are excellent swimmers and divers but also moves quickly on land, even over rugged, mountainous terrain. The species has a life span of approximately 25 to 30 years. They can attain a body length of 5.9 to 8.2 ft with a 2.0 to 3.9 in short stubby tail and 500 lb in weight. Adult weight has been reported from 330 to 710 lb. It stands somewhere between 2.53 to 3.54 ft at the shoulder. These guys can be found near water in the Amazon Rainforest and River Basin in South America, east of the Andes. Its range stretches from Venezuela, Colombia, and Guianas in the north to Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay, in the south, to Bolivia, Peru, and Ecuador in the West.
So here are Carter’s questions: Tell us why these guys live and forage so close to water and also what their main diet consists of? Also, tell us why engineers often follow the trails made by these animals when building/planning roads across mountainous regions?
Good Luck 😉
Congratulations to Petr Major from the Czech Republic for being the first to answer all our questions (via our website) correctly. The cute little mammal we featured is the Brazilian Tapir. The South American Tapir, or Brazilian Tapir (from the Tupi tapi’ira) or Lowland Tapir or (in Portuguese) Anta, is one of four species in the tapir family, along with the Mountain Tapir, the Malayan Tapir, and Baird’s Tapir. It is the second largest land mammal in South America, after Baird’s Tapir.
They live and forage near water because they are excellent swimmers; they can hide in the water using their snouts as snorkels to escape attacks from jaguars. Their main diet consists of water plants and other vegetation; they are even able to digest poisonous plants using special mud to detoxicate the content of their stomachs. Engineers often follow the trails made by these animals when building/planning roads across mountainous regions because Tapir instinctively take the best routes which makes the engineers jobs that much easier. Here is more on these endangered animals: Brazilian Tapir
Also, if you want to learn much more about these amazing animals, please be sure to visit with the kind folks at the IUCN Tapir Specialist Group which is run by Patricia Medici and her husband Arnaud Desbiez. You can also find out more at any of their other websites:
Thanks for playing along 😉