Even-Toed Ungulates | Artiodactyla
Even-toed ungulates received their name because they are hoofed creatures with five toes and they primarily put their weight on two of their five toes. Members of this family include camels, alpacas, llamas, pigs, and more. There is a great diversity within the family of even-toed ungulates and are the most successful group of large herbivores in existence. Oddly enough, whales and dolphins evolved from this group and there has been classification drama over whether to merge their two orders. Also, in recent news, a rare member of the even-toed ungulates, the silver-backed mouse deer, was just spotted in Vietnam in November 2019 for the first time since the 1990s.
There are about 220 species of even-toed ungulates. Animals that are even-toed ungulates include the saola, pygmy hog, bawean deer, addax, tamaraw, togian babirusa, walia ibex, and rhim gazelle. Other animals include the four-horned antelope, gaur, taruca, wild yak, moose, domestic sheep, and domestic pig.
The most notable difference between odd and even-toed ungulates is the number of toes they have. Even-toed ungulates have an even number of toes (2 or 4) while odd-toed ungulates have an odd number of toes. Also, there are 220 species of even-toed ungulates while there are 17 species of odd-toed ungulates.
Shared characteristics of even-toed ungulates include them being mostly herbivores, and having 2 or 4 functional toes. Almost all species of even-toed ungulates have a form of weapon like unbranched horns, forked horns, antlers, well-developed canines or tusks. They also have grooves at their ankle joints while helps them resist lateral motion.