Amazin' Amazon Mystery Animals
Mystery Animal #15 - Answer: Tapir
Tapirs are short-trunked animals known as odd-toed ungulates - odd-toed because they have three main toes on each foot (though the front feet have vestigial fourth toes), and ungulates because their toes are actually hooves (ungulates are hoofed animals). They are the heftiest mammals of the Amazon and therefore, if healthy and full grown, are usually too much to handle for the average jaguar or anaconda; but their size doesn't stop people from hunting and eating them. Some rain forest people call them 'forest cows,' though their closest relatives are horses and rhinoceroses. Despite the fact that they are harmless nocturnal vegetarians, they have been hunted, like their cousin the rhino, to near extinction in some areas.
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