Kabomani tapir

The smallest tapir species in the world, once considered subspecies of the Brazilian tapir

Kabomani tapir


The smallest tapir species in the world, once considered subspecies of the Brazilian tapir


Nicknamed the little black tapir, it stands as a testament to the enduring mysteries of the natural world, particularly within the dense, biodiverse expanses of the Amazon rainforest. Despite sharing its habitat with the somewhat more familiar South American tapir, this diminutive member of the tapir family has managed to carve out its niche in the vastness of this tropical environment. The discovery of the Kabomani tapir in 2013 not only captivated the scientific community but also marked a significant milestone in zoological discoveries, being hailed as the first discovery of an odd-toed ungulate species in more than a century.

This revelation sheds light on the complexities and the depth of biodiversity that still remains unexplored in some of the world’s most remote and dense ecosystems. The existence of the Kabomani tapir, discovered so recently, underscores the vast potential for new knowledge and the importance of continued scientific exploration and conservation efforts in these critical habitats.

The Kabomani tapir’s classification has sparked debate among scientists and researchers, blurring the lines between species and subspecies within the tapir family. Genetic analyses have stirred the waters of taxonomy, suggesting that the Kabomani tapir might not represent a completely separate species but rather could be a subspecies of the South American tapir. This distinction, while nuanced, is crucial for understanding the evolutionary relationships among tapirs and for guiding conservation strategies tailored to protect them.

Despite its recent discovery and ongoing discussions regarding its precise taxonomic status, the Kabomani tapir contributes significantly to our understanding of biodiversity and the evolutionary dynamics of species in the Amazon. Its smaller stature, when compared to its tapir relatives, and its unique adaptations to its specific environmental niche, highlight the incredible variety of life forms that inhabit our planet and the evolutionary processes that shape their existence.


Population est.
Not Evaluated by IUCN

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Terrestrial / Aquatic

Altricial / Precocial

Polygamous / Monogamous

Dimorphic (size) / Monomorphic

Active: Diurnal / Nocturnal

Social behavior: Solitary / Pack / Herd

Diet: Carnivore / Herbivore / Omnivore / Piscivorous / Insectivore

Migratory: Yes / No

Domesticated: Yes / No

Dangerous: Yes / No