Javier Mendez reports for El Deber:
The new dwarf anta [tapir] may be Bolivian ‘flagship species’
Two biologists that reported their presence indicate that [this dwarf anta] revalues the forests of our country. There are reports of new species of dolphin, another monkey and a rodent
Last year, the Journal of Mammalogy spread shocking news: it was discovered in Brazil a new species of tapir or anta. It was a dwarf tapir. Suddenly, the map of tapirs, known since 1865, was enriched. At three species in Central and South America and the only one in Southeast Asia, joined that found in the neighboring country.
The important thing is that it is also in Bolivia. Biologists Vincent A. Voss and Huascar Bustillos noted that in Brazil the new species of tapir is known as ‘pretinha’ (bold), while the common anta is known as ‘anta-açu’ (large anta).
Scholars verified that Tapirus kabomani, the dwarf tapir, known in Bolivia as’ black anta’, ‘anta girl’ or ‘anta leg donkey’, in contrast to the common tapir (Tapirus terrestris), which is also called’ anta large’ or ‘anta leg girl’. This name “underscores the importance of the difference in size of legs, and thus the traces of the antas, as these are the main evidence of their presence, both for residents and for biologists” say.
Known by locals
Both Voss as Bustillos recorded these common names over ten years ago. “The discovery of the new anta we must open our eyes, and forces us to re-analyze the descriptions of local people regarding the biodiversity of the region.”
Both claim to be taken more seriously local reports and analyze the possibility of the existence of a second species of porpoise or dolphin in Bolivian waters (probably Sotalia fluviatilis), the possible existence of a new species of titi monkey or marmoset monkey (Saguinus sp.) of straw color, and new rodent known as agoutis (Dasyprocta sp), birds and other not yet known to science or unknown within the Bolivian territory vertebrates.
The presence of the Bolivian Amazonian tapir revalued wealth. Can become what conservationists call ‘flagship species’
A tapir fossil sheds light climate
Intriguingly for paleontologists have discovered fossil remains of early tapir in British Columbia (Canada). Lived in the early Eocene, 52 million years ago.
“In Canada, the only places where there are mammals of this period in the Arctic, so these British Columbia fossils help fill a significant geographical divide,” says Natalia Rybczynski of the Canadian Museum of Nature.
The site is called Driftwood Canyon Provincial Parkthat, which was probably a jungle during the early Eocene. The tapir that time (Heptodon) was half the size of current (like T. kabomani). It fed on leaves. Along with a hedgehog (Silvacola acares), is the first mammal found in the place.
Our great biodiversity doesn’t cease to surprise and amuse me!