The Characters on the Stamps. A Tapir.
During the subglacial times (before the Ice Age) tapirs were present in Europe, North America and China. But now they only survive in South America (three species) and South Asia, in Malaya, Burma, Thailand and Sumatra (one species, the Malayan tapir*).
Our Malayan tapir is a rather large animal, the largest among the tapirs. Its body length ranges from1.8m to 2.4 m, its height from 0.75m to 1 m, and its weight from 250 to 320 kg. The maximum recorder weight was 540 kg. Tapirs are fearful and quite peaceful creatures. Only tigers are a danger to tapirs because of their large size. At first sight the color of the Malayan tapir seems very bright - maybe too much so. The head, neck, shoulder and legs are black, and the whole back, hips, belly, rump and upper half of the thighs are pure white - like a snow-white blanket thrown over the animal. Despite the contrast, this is a protective color - when the tapir is in the dark it can’t be seen, but a white spot is still visible, which prevents predators from identifying the prey by its outline. The exact number of species and the way they are evoluting are unknown due to the inaccessibility of the Malayan tapir’s habitat. Obviously, its size has decreased because of the cutting of tropical rain forests in Southeast Asia. Currently, Malayan tapirs are listed in the International Red Book with a "Vulnerable” status.
In Japanese mythology, there is a spirit,the Baku, which eats bad dreams or the spirits who sends them. He can eat good dreams sometimes, causing insomnia. But in most cases, the Baku is still considered a good spirit. Until the 20th century the Baku was painted with the trunk of an elephant, rhinoceros eyes, the tail of a bull and tiger paws. It was believed to have come from Chinese mythology. During the 20th century, people began to portray the Baku with the image of a tapir. In Japanese, “tapir” translates to Baku**. This may be due to the fact that the tapir looks like it was assembled from portions of different animals. And it is worth noting that the Malayan tapir is nocturnal. Maybe it really wanders through the woods, looking for the spirits that send bad dreams.
For the Information
The way tapirs talk to each other is quite interesting: they whistle shrilly or shout. Your child can listen to the voice of the tapir in “A Parcel of courage” (on the page with the envelope or in the game “Post Office”). All the animals on our stamps greet the child and make sounds after a task is completed (when the stamps are pasted or the address is signed).
* Malayan tapir (lat. Tapirus indicus) - mammal genus deadlocks squad equines. The only Asian species of tapirs. Because of the peculiarity of the species, in Thailand the animal is called p'somm-sett, ie "hybrid"; according to legend, God created the tapir with the remaining parts of the bodies of animals
** The image of the Malayan tapir guessed in Baku, the good spirit of Chinese, Korean and Japanese mythology. In Chinese it is called mò or mek (Cantonese) (Chin. 貘). Korean - maek (Hangul: 맥, hanche: Cor. 貊); Japanese - Baku (Jap. 貘).