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Tapir, Malayan.jpg

Its unmistakable two-tone pattern distinguishes the Malayan tapir (Tapirus indicus) the only Old World tapir, from the other three tapir species of Central and South America. It is also called the Asian tapir, Asiatic tapir, Oriental tapir, Indian tapir, or piebald tapir. The largest of the tapirs, adults possess a stocky black body with a prominent white ‘saddle’ over the back, which extends down the sides, around the belly and over the rump. Although seemingly conspicuous, this ‘disruptive colouration’ helps break up the body outline in shady and moonlit forests. In contrast to adults, infants are born with a reddish-brown coat patterned with white stripes and spots, developing the adult colouration after four to seven months. Like other tapirs, the nose and upper lip are extended to form a prominent prehensile proboscis, which is used to grab leaves.



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