Tapirus polkensis

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Tapirus polkensis
Temporal range: Late Miocene–Early Pliocene
Tapirus polkensis.jpg
Fossil replicas on display at the Gray Fossil Site & Museum
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Perissodactyla
Family: Tapiridae
Genus: Tapirus
T. polkensis
Binomial name
Tapirus polkensis
Olsen, 1860

Tapirus polkensis, the pygmy tapir, is a small prehistoric tapir that lived in North America during the late Miocene and early Pliocene.[1] T. polkensis may have lived in swamps, where it would have been preyed on by ancestors of modern American crocodiles.[citation needed] T. polkensis had an estimated mass of around 125 kg (276 lb),[1] making it smaller than any extant tapir.

The Gray Fossil Site in northeast Tennessee is home to the world's largest known fossil assemblage of T. polkensis.


  1. ^ a b Richard C. Hulbert Jr.; Steven C. Wallace; Walter E. Klippel & Paul W. Parmalee (2009). "Cranial morphology and systematics of an extraordinary sample of the Late Neogene dwarf tapir, Tapirus polkensis (Olsen)". Journal of Paleontology. 83 (2): 238–262. doi:10.1666/08-062.1.