Here's "flehmen" at you!


Photo by Sheryl Todd, about 1970

A woolly mountain tapir in the Los Angeles Zoo raises his snout in a gesture called "flehmen" in German. In English we have no name for the posture. "Flehmen" is performed most often by male tapirs - sometimes by the females - when they smell their own or another tapir's urine. A similar gesture, though not as intense, is used at other times.


All tapirs are endangered species.
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