FunHoofed animals: what they are and characteristics

Hoofed animals: what they are and characteristics

Surely you are able to classify some of the best known animal species on the planet, but certain organizations may escape you, such as when talking about hoofed animals , in which we are going to stop to see what or what they are and their features.

The first thing we have to know is that the definition of hoofed animals has gone through some time or other of controversy in recent times, as a result of new research that suggests that they should add other species to the original ones within this group.

In any case, as a general rule, the term “ungulate” comes from the Latin “ungula”, which could be translated as “nail”, and that means that we are talking about those animal species, especially mammals, that move supported mostly in the nails.

The discussions that we mentioned before come because some experts believe that cetaceans should also be included within this group, since they descend from species of this type that have become extinct with the passage of time. Other specialists argue, for their part, that it really does not make sense to equate cetaceans with current ungulates.

Taxonomically they are no longer called ungulates, but “placental mammal with hooves”, because this allows many of the species in question that we mentioned to be incorporated.


Returning to the definition, we can repeat then that ungulates, beyond other qualities that differentiate them from others, tend to move supporting the whole body on the tips of the fingers , or they have ancestors who handled themselves in this way and have suffered small changes.

It is even possible to distinguish ungulates between those with even fingers, or “Artiodactyla”, and those with odd fingers , or “Perissodactyla”, as an internal classification between them.

Continuing with their characteristics, ungulates are mostly herbivorous animals, with the exception of pigs, which are omnivores. This means that the young can stay upright almost from birth, as they need rapid development to flee from lurking predators.

On the other hand, some of them have horns or antlers, which they use to defend themselves against those hunters , and even their own species, when they are in courtship and mating processes.

And what examples of these species do we have today? Horses, donkeys, zebras, tapirs, rhinos, camels, llamas , pigs, wild boars, deer, antelopes, giraffes, wildebeest, etc.

As we can see, many of the animals of nature, and why not also many of our favorites, can be classified of this type.

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