It is nice to see how tapirs grow up, slowly but surely.
Tapirs are those huge friendly and quiet visitors. Most of the time they take you by surprise. Over the past 8 years I have seen them passing by, young and old ones too. Unlike birds, tapirs show almost no difference when they switch from being an immature to an adult, but there are small changes visible. If you pay some attention to it too.
Tapirs are solitary animals and only during mating season you will see both male and female walking together.
After the mating season is over, both male and female will go separate ways. For 13 months the female will walk around as an expecting mom.
After 13 months have passed, she will give birth to one little tapir. The young one looks quite different compared with its mother and father; white stripes covering its entire body. It will follow its mother for at least 17 or 18 months until it slowly starts wandering alone by itself.
Here you see a young independent tapir vs an adult tapir:
- the young tapir is still growing up: its hind legs are still too short compared with the adult
- its skull/head also is developing, the front head is still high while the adult head is smoother
- its tail is still visible but it will slowly 'disappear'
The color will also change from light grey into dark/grey or dark brown.
And after years of walking through the bushes and spending time eating leaves and twigs, it will look like this. Grey spots on its Mohawk hairstyle, 'beaten' ears and worn out teeth. But that can take a while.
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