San Bernardino County Website | Home   
San Bernardino County Museum Header Image
County of San Bernardino

Lecture, "Tapirs: Curious Cousins of the Horse"

4/11/2010 - Lecture, "Tapirs: Curious Cousins of the Horse"


On Sunday, April 11, Curator of Paleontology Eric Scott will present a lecture, “Tapirs: Curious Cousins of the Horse” at the San Bernardino County Museum at 2pm. This presentation is free with paid museum admission.

            Many of the extinct animals that lived in southern California during the Pleistocene Epoch—the “Ice Ages”—are well-known to young and old alike: mammoths, sabre-toothed cats, ground sloths. Less well-known is a smaller, less conspicuous animal: the tapir. “Tapirs are hoofed mammals related to horses,” said Scott, “but they’re much more primitive in many of their features. Think of a pig-sized critter with a snout like a short trunk and three toes on each foot–that’s a tapir!”

            Tapirs today live only in Central and South America and southeastern Asia. “During the Ice Ages, we had at least two species of these unusual animals right here in southern California, as well as in much of the rest of the US and Mexico,” Scott said.

Recent discoveries of tapir fossils by museum paleontologists and other researchers in inland southern California and northwestern Sonora, Mexico, are rewriting what we know about these reclusive creatures. “Comparing fossils we find here in California, right under our feet, with fossils from Mexico paints a very different picture from what we thought we knew,” said Scott. “We’re rethinking how many kinds of tapir lived here in the southwest during the Ice Ages.” Join Scott for the afternoon as he shares a picturesque travelogue of his experiences south of the border, reviewing what we know and what we’ve recently learned about ancient Ice Age tapirs.

            The San Bernardino County Museum is at the California Street exit from Interstate 10 in Redlands. The Museum is open Tuesdays through Sundays and holiday Mondays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $8 (adult), $6 (military or senior), $5 (student) and $4 (child aged 5 to 12). Children under five and Museum Association members are admitted free. For more information, visit

            The Museum is accessible to persons with disabilities. If assistive listening devices or other auxiliary aids are needed in order to participate in museum exhibits or programs, requests should be made through Museum Visitor Services at least three business days prior to your visit. Visitor Services’ telephone number is 909-307-2669 ext. 229 or (TDD) 909-792-1462.





Programs & Events
Family Programs
Scout Programs
School Programs
Museum Youth Club
Branch Museum Sites
Museum Store
Rentals & Weddings
Media Page
Community Partnerships

American Association of Museums Logo

Institute of Museum and Library Services Logo

San Bernardino County Museum - (909) 307-2669 - 2024 Orange Tree Lane, Redlands, California 92374 TDD/TYY: (909) 792-1462

© 2007 San Bernardino County Museum
The information contained in the following pages was valid at the time of publication. The County of San Bernardino, Museum Department reserves the right to make changes and improvements at any time and without notice, and assumes no liability for damages incurred directly or indirectly as a result of errors, omissions or discrepancies. Please contact the webmaster with comments or suggestions. Website by RedFusion Media
County of San Bernardino County of San Bernardino