The genus of Tapirus consists of many extinct and still extant species of tapirs. Nowadays, five extant species of tapir are recognized and live in South America and Southeast Asia, but extinct species have also been known from North America, Europe and Asia in general. The shape of tapirs has evolved very early on and the first relatives already looked like tapirs during the Eocene epoch. Tapirus lived in forested areas and evolved to feed mainly on aquatic vegetation and are therefore bound to watery habitats.
North & South America, Eurasia
Miocene to Holocene
The Auvergne Tapir was apparently a common species during the Miocene, Pliocene and Pleistocene epoch of Europe and Russia. It was fairly small in size, reaching two meters in length, and looked very similar to modern tapirs. Therefore, it is believed that its behaviour is comparable too. It probably fed on aquatic vegetation using its trunk and lived in forested areas with lots of water around. The Auvergne Tapir disappeared due to the replacement of the Pliocene forests by the open savannas of the Pleistocene epoch.
Croizet & Jobert, 1828
Miocene to Pleistocene
van Kolfschoten, T. (2001). Pleistocene mammals from the Netherlands. Bollettino-Societa Paleontologica Italiana, 40(2), 209-216.