The tapir is definitely one of the strangest-looking mammals on the planet... but we should give this guy a little slack, because he's also one of the oldest; fossil records indicate that the species has been around in some form or another for around 50 million years. But scientists still don't know everything about the creature, as they just recently stumbled across a different variety of tapir in the Brazilian jungle.
Photo: Mario A. Cozzuol
According to I Fucking Love Science, Tapirus kabomani – which looks pretty spooky in this night-vision image – is the first new tapir species to be documented since 1865, even though Amazonian natives have known about it for ages. Mario A. Cozzuol, from the Federal University of Minas Gerais in Brazil, enlisted the local tribes to help him track and study the creature on its native turf.
Global warming, over-hunting and other human encroachments on the tapir's habitat are rapidly reducing its population, and conservation groups are using information like this to determine if it belongs on the endangered species list.