RESOURCES: In the Tapir's Lair

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Science  04 Jan 2002:
Vol. 295, Issue 5552, pp. 19
DOI: 10.1126/science.295.5552.19b

Theodore Roosevelt was so keen on tapirs that he absolutely had to shoot one, and director Stanley Kubrick used them to impart a prehistoric ambiance to the early scenes of 2001: A Space Odyssey. The Tapir Gallery is a lively source of information on the biology, lore, and especially conservation of these water-loving, prehensile-nosed cousins of horses and rhinos.

Get oriented with species accounts that cover the range, habits, and distinguishing marks of the four living species, which inhabit tropical areas of Asia and Central and South America. The well-stocked pictures section contains snapshots along with artwork and other images. Site creator Sheryl Todd, president of the Tapir Preservation Fund, painted this pair of lowland tapirs at Amsterdam's Artis Zoo. There's also a growing bibliography listing more than 500 references as well as links to some recent papers. All tapir species are in trouble, jeopardized by dwindling habitat and hunting. To learn what's being done to prevent their extinction, read the World Conservation Union's 1997 tapir status report and action plan.

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