UngulatePhotos, Pictures, Prints

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Hoofed Creatures

Ungulates are members of a diverse group of large mammals that includes odd-toed ungulates such as horses and rhinoceroses, and even-toed ungulates such as cattle, pigs, giraffes, camels, deer, and hippopotami. Most terrestrial ungulates use the tips of their toes, usually hoofed, to sustain their whole body weight while moving.

The term means, roughly, “being hoofed” or “hoofed animal”. As a descriptive term, “ungulate” normally excludes cetaceans (whales, dolphins, porpoises), as they do not possess most of the typical morphological characteristics of ungulates. However, recent discoveries indicate that these marine mammals descended from early artiodactyls.

These animals are typically herbivorous (though some species are omnivorous, such as pigs). Many employ specialized gut bacteria to allow them to digest cellulose, as in the case of ruminants. They inhabit a wide range of habitats, including jungles, plains and rivers.

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