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horses - horses The Ung la e o Hoofed Mammal T he t erm...

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12/19/11 horses 1/1 www2.fiu.edu/alongoria/gly1101/horses.html The UngXlaWeV oU Hoofed MammalV The term ungulate is an informal one referring to several groups of living and extinct mammals, particularly the hoofed mammals that belong to the orders Artiodactyla and Perissodactyla. The artiodactyls, commonly called even-toed hoofed mammals, are the most diverse and nu¤merous, with about 170 living species of cattle, goats, sheep, swine, antelope, deer, giraffes, hippopotamuses, camels, and several others. In marked contrast, the perissodactyls, or odd-toed hoofed mammals, have only 16 existing species of horses, rhinoceroses, and tapirs. During the Early Cenozoic, though, perissodactyls were more abun¤dant than artiodactyls. Some defining characteristics of these groups of hoofed mammals are the number of toes and how the animal's weight is borne on the toes. (Their teeth are also distinctive.) Artiodactyls have either two or four toes, and their weight is borne along an axis that passes between the third and fourth digits. For those artiodactyls with two toes, such as today's swine and deer, the first, second, and
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