(Science: zoology) Any one of several species of large odd-toed ungulates belonging to Tapirus, Elasmognathus, and allied genera. They have a long prehensile upper lip, short ears, short and stout legs, a short, thick tail, and short, close hair. They have three toes on the hind feet, and four toes on the fore feet, but the outermost toe is of little use.
The best-known species are the indian tapir (Tapirus Indicus), native of the East Indies and malacca, which is black with a broad band of white around the middle, and the common American tapir (T. Americanus), which, when adult, is dull brown. Several others species inhabit the Andes and Central America.
Origin: Braz. Tapy'ra: cf. F. Tapir.