MNN Galleries

12 animals with the longest gestation period

By: Bryan Nelson on April 28, 2010, 1:22 p.m.
A tapir nurses with its mother

Photo: MaestroBen/Flickr

12 of 14


A tapir may appear to be a cross between a pig and an anteater, but it's actually most closely related to horses and rhinos and shares a similarly long gestation period. A tapir calf is born after 13 months in the womb. Newborns have special brown- and beige-striped markings that help camouflage them from predators, but the pattern fades after a few months when the young tapir becomes more mobile.