Baird’s Tapir

Learn with Manuel Lara about Seed- dispersing mammals.

Tapirus bairdii (Gill, 1865)                                         Order: Perissodactyla  

Family: Tapiridae


T. bairdii body is well muscled, with bristly and “piglike” fur, which is dark brown to reddish brown above and paler below with white fringes around their large ears, white lips, and sometimes a white patch on the throat and chest. It has short, slender legs, which makes them well suited to move fast through brush. The snout and upper lips are projected forwards to form a short, “leshy proboscis, which is used for finding food and for detecting tactile stimuli. The forefeet have three main digits and one smaller one, while the hind feet have only three digits.


This species is distributed from southeastern Mexico to the Gulf of Guayaquil in Ecuador, living in most vegetation types at al!itudes ranging from sea level to 3,600 meters, such as swampy areas, mangroves, tropical rainforests, riparian forests, monsoon deciduous forest, montane tropical cloud forests and páramos. Food and water availability are important factors in habitat selec!ion.


Central American tapirs are strict herbivores and feed from ground level to 1.5 meters above ground level. Most of their diet consists of the leaves or foliage of a variety of plant species, but they also feed on various fruits, twigs, “lowers, sedges and grasses. They are considered by scien!ists to be important seed dispersers.

Wells, Jefrey. “Tapirus bairdii.” Animal Diversity Web. (Consultado el 01-09-2022