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Brevet’s Black Malayan Tapir – A Forgotten Asian Mystery Beast Resurrected

Posted by: Karl Shuker on August 12th, 2013

Largest of today’s living tapir species, and the only one that is native to the Old World, the Malayan tapir Tapirus indicus is further distinguished by its striking ‘saddle’ of white, encompassing much of its torso and haunches. In total contrast, its four New World relatives are all uniformly dark. Naturally, therefore, zoologists were nonplussed when one of the adult Malayan tapirs sent to Rotterdam Zoo in spring 1924 from Sumatra proved to be entirely black, with no saddle.

Brevet's black Malayan tapir at Rotterdam Zoo 1

For there were no previous records of all-black Malayan tapirs, and not even Captain K. Brevet (of the Royal Dutch-Indian Army), from whom the tapirs had been received, had ever heard tell of such creatures before. So how could it be explained, and were there others?

Further details can be found here, on my ShukerNature blog.

Karl Shuker About Karl Shuker
My name is Dr Karl P.N. Shuker. I am a zoologist (BSc & PhD), media consultant, and the author of 20 books and hundreds of articles, specialising in cryptozoology and animal mythology. I have a BSc (Honours) degree in pure zoology from the University of Leeds (U.K.), and a PhD in zoology and comparative physiology from the University of Birmingham (U.K.). I have acted jointly as consultant and major contributor to three multi-author volumes on cryptozoology and other mysterious phenomena. I am the Life Sciences Consultant to The Guinness Book of Records/Guinness World Records (Guinness: London, 1997-present day), and was consultant to Monsters (Lorenz Books: London, 2001), as well as a contributor to Mysteries of the Deep (Llewellyn: St Paul, 1998), Guinness Amazing Future (Guinness: London, 1999), The Earth (Channel 4 Books: London, 2000), and Chambers Dictionary of the Unexplained (Chambers: London, 2007). I appear regularly on television & radio, was a consultant for the Discovery TV series Into the Unknown, and a question setter for the BBC's quiz show Mastermind. I am a Scientific Fellow of the Zoological Society of London, a Fellow of the Royal Entomological Society, a Member of the Society of Authors, and the Cryptozoology Consultant for the Centre for Fortean Zoology (CFZ). I have written articles for numerous publications, including Fortean Times, The X Factor, Paranormal Magazine, FATE, Strange Magazine, Prediction, Beyond, Uri Geller's Encounters, Phenomena, Alien Encounters, Wild About Animals, All About Cats, All About Dogs, Cat World, etc. In 2005, I was honoured by the naming of a new species of loriciferan invertebrate after me - Pliciloricus shukeri.




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