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South American tapir

South American tapir

Z945/0035

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Credit

DR MORLEY READ / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR MORLEY READ / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

South American tapir (Tapirus terrestris). This animal is found in forests near water in south America, east of the Andes. It can reach up to 2.5 metres in length, with the females the larger of the sexes. It is a solitary animal and mostly nocturnal, especially near human populations. It is a good swimmer and when threatened flees to water. It is herbivorous, using its prehensile (grasping) proboscis to forage for leaves, seedlings, fruits and aquatic plants. Photographed in the Amazon rainforest, Ecuador.

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