Record Details

Hagen, Katharina;Müller, Dennis W. H.;Wibbelt, Gudrun;Ochs, Andreas;Hatt, Jean-Michel;Clauss, Marcus
The macroscopic intestinal anatomy of a lowland tapir (Tapirus terrestris)
European Journal Of Wildlife Research
Journal Article
Tapirs are the only group among the perissodactyls for which no recent description of the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) exists. Historical depictions of the GIT of tapirs suggest a similarity to the GIT of equids, but do not resolve the question whether the isthmus at the caeco-colical junction, and at the transition from the proximal colon to the colon transversum---both evident in horses---occur in tapirs as well. Here, we describe the macroscopic anatomy of the GIT of a captive, adult lowland tapir (Tapirus terrestris). While similar to equids in terms of the overall design and, in particular, the two mentioned isthmuses, the proximal colon of the tapir appeared less pronounced than in other perissodactyls, resulting in a GIT in which the caecum appeared as the most voluminous fermentation chamber. This finding is supported by the particular location of the ileo-caecal junction, which does not visibly separate the caecum from the colon, or the caecum head from the caecum body, but enters the caecum body in its upper third.