Proboscis: Word of the day

I wish I knew what it meant!……..


  1. the nose of a mammal, especially when it is long and mobile such as the trunk of an elephant or the snout of a tapir

The Poor Tapir

The poor tapir felt awfully bad 

Because of the snout he unfortunately had

It was big and long and moved about 

This proboscis of his must move its way out. 

The problem with that as you can probably guess 

Is the nose was attached to his face. 

He wanted to cry and never felt blessed 

And kept to his own little space.   

©2020 CBialczak Poetry

Written for:


The Asian, or Malayan tapir is the largest of the five living species of tapir.

It is also the only surviving old world species. It is characterised by its long, fleshy, prehensile nose and distinctive black and white colouration which apparently breaks up the outline of the body in the gloom of the forests in which it lives. Tapirs are perissodactyls (odd-toed ungulates), a group of herbivores that also includes rhinos and horses – it was a previously a very diverse and numerous group. The origins of Tapiridae can be traced back at least fifty million years, and they have changed little in body plan for 35 million years. Formerly ranging across Southeast Asia, the tapir today exists as a series of isolated populations, the largest of which are in Malaysia. Habitat destruction, especially through deforestation for agricultural purposes, or flooding caused by the damming of rivers for hydroelectric purposes, is largely responsible for historical decline of this species and continues to be the main threat today. Hunting, a relatively minor threat in the past, is also becoming more of a concern; as other preferred prey species are becoming more depleted, hunters are increasingly looking towards tapirs as a food source.

  • Order: Perissodactyla
  • Family: Tapiridae
  • Population: 1,300-1,700
  • Trend: decreasing
  • Size: 1.80-2.5 m
  • Weight: 100-500kg


EDGE Score: 5.73 (?)ED Score: 37.63 (?)GE / IUCN Red List(?)NENot Evaluated DDData Deficient LCLeast Concern NTNear Threatened VUVulnerable ENEndangered CRCritically Endangered EWExtinct in the Wild EXExtinct


Fragmented populations occur throughout the historical range in Southeast Asia, from southern and central parts of Sumatra (Indonesia) to Peninsula Malaysia, southwest Thailand, and southern Myanmar.


They inhabit tropical moist forests through all ranges, through all a range of altitudes, from the highest peaks in Thailand to the lowlands and lower montane zone in parts of its range. They feed on the twigs and growing tips of a wide range of understory vegetation, and also a variety of fruits and leaves on the forest floor.

16 thoughts on “Proboscis: Word of the day

  1. A fun little poem! I will never forget the tapirs at the National Zoo in DC. We took the boys and it was breeding season for the tapirs. They are not quiet breeders! We had to do a lot of explaining!!

    Liked by 1 person

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