Odd-toed ungulates, in comparison to even-toed ungulates, bear the majority of weight on one toe only; their third toe. The other difference between the two ungulate families, is that odd-toed ungulates digest cellulose in their intestines, not their stomach. The odd-toed ungulate family is rather small, consisting of horses, donkeys, tapirs, and rhinoceros. Despite the size of this family, odd-toed ungulates have an extensive reach and are present across the globe, due to establishment of feral populations. Two of the odd-toed ungulate species have been domesticated; horses and donkeys. All odd-toed ungulates are either large to very large, with the smallest still weighing in at 200 kg or 440 lbs.

Which animals are odd-toed ungulates?

There are about 17 species of odd-toed ungulates. Animals that are odd-toed ungulates include the javan rhinoceros, mountain tapir, mountain zebra, onager, kiang, mule, donkey, and horse. Other animals include the Sumatran rhinoceros, African wild ass, and Malayan tapir.

What are the shared characteristics of odd-toed ungulates?

Shared characteristics of odd-toed ungulates include them being herbivores and each having 1 or 3 hoofed toes on each hindfoot. They also have a long upper jaw and a reduced ulna and fibula bones simplifying both the wrist and ankle joint. They don’t have a clavicle bone making running more efficient.

What are the differences between odd and even-toed ungulates?

The most notable difference between even and odd-toed ungulates is the number of toes they have. Odd-toed ungulates have an odd number of toes, while even-toed ungulates have an even number of toes (2 or 4). Odd-toed ungulates are able to digest plant matter in their intestines, while even-toed ungulates digest their meals in one or more stomach chambers.

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Odd-Toed Ungulates

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Horses
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Rhinoceros
Scale comparison of a human to a Rhinoceros with dimensions for length and height

Rhinoceroses, or rhinos, are large herbivorous mammals with one or two upright horns and thick gray or brown skin. Found in the grasslands and savannas of Africa and Asia, the rhinoceros is one of the most endangered animals on the planet due to rampant poaching for their horns. Rhinos are the world’s second-largest land mammal.

The typical Rhinoceros has an overall height of 66.0"-81.0" (1.7-2.1 m) and body length of 132.0"-165.0" (11’-13’9") (3.4-4.2 m). An average Rhinoceros weighs between 3,500-8,800 lb (1,600-4,000 kg) and has a typical lifespan of 35-40 years.

Drawings of a Rhinoceros in various postures from the side, front, back, and laying down
Rhinoceroses, or rhinos, are large herbivorous mammals with one or two upright horns and thick gray or brown skin. Found in the grasslands and savannas of Africa and Asia, the rhinoceros is one of the most endangered animals on the planet due to rampant poaching for their horns.

The typical Rhinoceros has an overall height of 66.0"-81.0" (1.7-2.1 m) and body length of 132.0"-165.0" (11’-13’9") (3.4-4.2 m). An average Rhinoceros weighs between 3,500-8,800 lb (1,600-4,000 kg) and has a typical lifespan of 35-40 years.

Drawings of a Rhinoceros in various postures from the side, front, back, and laying down
Rhinoceros
Height:
66.0"-81.0" (5’6"-6’9") | 1.7-2.1 m
Width:
Length:
11’-13’9" | 3.4-4.2 m
Depth:
Weight:
3,500-8,800 lb | 1,600-4,000 kg
Area:
Scientific Name
Rhinocerotidae
Lifespan
35-40 years

Drawings include:
Rhinoceros side elevation (standing), front, back, side (laying down)

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Donkey
Dimensioned drawing of an average donkey with measurements for height and length compared to a human farmer for scale

Donkeys, also known as asses or burros, are members of the horse family (Equidae) that are distinguished from horses by their stockier stature and floppy ears. With variations that include wild, feral, and domestic, donkeys are herd animals found around the world that are most commonly kept as beasts of burden that have assisted in the transportation of goods for thousands of years. On farms, donkeys are often bred as pets and for producing milk but they have also been found to act as guardians that help protect the other livestock. Male donkeys are called jacks, while female donkeys are known as jennies or jennets.

The average Donkey has an overall height of 43.0”-57.0” (109-145 cm), withers height of 36.0”-48.0” (92-123 cm), and body length of 57.0”-76.0” (145-193 cm). A typical Donkey weighs between 400-500 lb (180-225 kg) and has a lifespan of roughly 25-40 years.

Illustrations of a donkey as viewed from the side, front, and laying down
Donkeys, also known as asses or burros, are members of the horse family (Equidae) that are distinguished from horses by their stockier stature and floppy ears.

The average Donkey has an overall height of 43.0”-57.0” (109-145 cm), withers height of 36.0”-48.0” (92-123 cm), and body length of 57.0”-76.0” (145-193 cm). A typical Donkey weighs between 400-500 lb (180-225 kg) and has a lifespan of roughly 25-40 years.

Illustrations of a donkey as viewed from the side, front, and laying down
Donkey
Height:
43.0”-57.0” | 109-145 cm
Width:
Length:
57.0”-76.0” | 145-193 cm
Depth:
36.0”-48.0” | 92-123 cm
Weight:
400-500 lb | 180-225 kg
Area:

Uses: Milk, pack (transport), guardians

Equus asinus
Lifespan
25-40 years

Drawings include:
Donkey side elevation (standing), side (male farmer), front, side (laying down)

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Zebra
Drawing comparing the dimensions of a zebra to a human

Zebra are a variation of the horse family known for their uniquely distinct coats of black-and-white stripes. Typically traveling in herds, zebra are found in many different habitats throughout Africa including grasslands, savannas, mountains, hills, and woodlands. Not unlike a fingerprint, the coat patterns on every individual zebra are different and are used as a form of camouflage that makes it difficult for predators to target a single zebra in a herd.

The average Zebra has an overall height of 51.0"-75.0" (1.3-1.9 m), withers height of 42.0"-60.0" (1.1-1.5 m), and body length of 64.0"-96.0" (1.6-2.4 m). A typical Zebra weighs between 440-990 lb (200-450 kg) and has a lifespan of roughly 25 years.

Assortment of zebra illustrations from the side, front, back, and laying down
Zebra are a variation of the horse family known for their uniquely distinct coats of black-and-white stripes. Not unlike a fingerprint, the patterns on every individual zebra are different and are used as a form of camouflage that makes it difficult for predators to target a single zebra in a herd.

The average Zebra has an overall height of 51.0"-75.0" (1.3-1.9 m), withers height of 42.0"-60.0" (1.1-1.5 m), and body length of 64.0"-96.0" (1.6-2.4 m). A typical Zebra weighs between 440-990 lb (200-450 kg) and has a lifespan of roughly 25 years.

Assortment of zebra illustrations from the side, front, back, and laying down
Zebra
Height:
51.0"-75.0" (4’3”-6’3”) | 1.3-1.9 m
Width:
Length:
64.0"-96.0" (5’4”-8’) | 1.6-2.4 m
Depth:
42.0"-60.0" (3’6”-5’) | 1.1-1.5 m
Weight:
440-990 lb | 200-450 kg
Area:
Equus quagga
Lifespan
25 years

Drawings include:
Zebra side profile, front profile, back profile, laying down side profile

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