plural tapirs also tapir
: any of a genus (Tapirus) of herbivorous chiefly nocturnal perissodactyl mammals of tropical America and southeastern Asia from Myanmar to Sumatra that have a heavy sparsely hairy body and the snout and upper lip prolonged into a short flexible proboscis
Origin of TAPIR
Portuguese tapir, tapira,
from Tupi tapiʔíra
First Known Use: 1774
tapir noun (Concise Encyclopedia)
Any of four extant members (genus Tapirus) of the family Tapiridae, heavy-bodied, odd-toed ungulates, 6–8 ft (1.8–2.5 m) long and up to 3 ft (1 m) high. They have short ears and legs and a fleshy snout overhanging the upper lip. The feet have three functional toes. Body hair is usually short and sparse, but two species have a short, bristly mane. The Malayan tapir (T. indicus) has a black head, shoulders, and legs and white rump, back, and belly. The single Central and two South American species are plain brown or gray. Tapirs inhabit the deep forest or swamp.
Lowland tapir (Tapirus terrestris)—Warren Garst/Tom Stack & Associates
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