Scientists have announced the discovery of a new species of tapir in Brazil and Colombia in what is being called one of the biggest zoological discoveries of the twenty-first century. The tapir, dubbed Tapirus kabomani after the name for "tapir" in the local Paumari language, is one of the largest animals on the continent and was previously unknown to science, Mongabay.com reports:
Tapirus kabomani, or the Kobomani tapir, is the fifth tapir found in the world and the first to be discovered since 1865. It is also the first mammal in the order Perissodactyla (which includes tapirs, rhinos, and horses) found in over a hundred years. Moreover, this is the largest land mammal to be uncovered in decades: in 1992 scientists discovered the saola in Vietnam and Cambodia, a rainforest bovine that is about the same size as the new tapir.
The new species has been known for a long time by indigenous peoples, who in fact hunt it and call it the "little black tapir." The animal weighs 240 pounds, compared to the 710-pound Brazilian tapir.