Un-hoofed animals walk on the ground with their hooves - these are horn formations that protect toes and support weight. Ostriches stand and run at their fingertips. Most of the weight is supported by hooves, as a result of which the form of movement of hoofed animals is described as “hoof-walking” (and not “finger-walking” when the fingers touch the ground, or “stop-walking” when the whole foot falls to the ground, as in humans). Hooves plus structural features of the leg bones that lengthen the limbs allow artiodactyls to run fast. It is believed that animals with unpaired hooves have evolved on pastures, where speed saves from predators.
One hoof on each leg extremely adapted the zebra to running. The general form - a large head, a strong neck and long legs, is easily recognizable.
On the body - a series of black and white stripes. These lines are thin and relatively close to each other on the neck and trunk, on the hips turn into several wide horizontal stripes.
Black and white stripes are located close to each other. A wide black line runs along the spine. The color of the white abdomen partially extends up the sides.
A short, smooth coat, from light gray to tan, changes to a white hue on the underside and legs. All subspecies have a thin dark dorsal stripe.
A reddish-brown top contrasts sharply with pure white lower parts, including croup. Where the legs meet the body, large white wedges reach the sides.
Light brown or reddish brown hair on the underside of the body turns white. Short in summer, it lengthens, thickens and brightens with the onset of cold weather.
Throughout history, people have crossed, sold, moved horses across the continents. It is a source of food, a means of production and entertainment.
The coat is thick, coarse and long, with an insulating undercoat covering the thin skin of tapirs. Color from charcoal black to dark reddish brown.
Brazilian (plain) tapir
The upper lip and nose of the tapirs are extended into a short tenacious proboscis, which is one of the most recognizable features of this group.
Central American Tapir
The thick skin is covered with short dark brown hair. Young animals have a reddish-brown coat, with pronounced white veins and spots.
Body color: the front part and hind legs are black, the croup is gray-white or gray. The color is noticeable, but the tapir is almost invisible in the moonlit jungle at night.
The leathery skin of gray-brown color folds into armor-like plates. The unique rhino is covered with noticeable coarse reddish-brown hair.
The skin-like armor is thick and strong, with folds and bulging protrusions on the neck, shoulders and sides. The crease on the neck does not continue along the back.
These are single animals with a weakly expressed attachment to the territory. Females become sexually mature after about 3-4 years, and males mature later.
Habitat loss, disease, and poaching have eradicated rhinos to such an extent that they are now found only in protected areas.
These animals have no incisors, only premolars and molars, adapted to chop the vegetation on which rhinos graze.
Appearance of artiodactyls
Horses , rhinoceroses and tapirs are all artiodactyl animals, although they are not similar in appearance. Rhinos carry their weight on the central toe, which is surrounded by two smaller toes. The first and fifth fingers disappeared in the process of evolution. Tapirs have the same arrangement with three toes on their hind limbs, but their forelimbs have an extra, smaller toe. Horses transfer weight to the center finger, but all the outer fingers have disappeared.
Over time, the hooves adapted to a specific environment. Animals that live on hard ground, such as horses and antelopes, have small, compact hooves. Those living on soft soil, such as moose and caribou, have distinct fingers and longer hooves that stretch and distribute the weight of the animal.
Many mammals have horns or horns, and some have fangs. Fangs, horns and horns protect against predators, but the main application is the struggle of males in competitions for territory or a female.
Scientists also classify several inexperienced animals as equids. These include Iraq (a rabbit- sized animal in Africa and Asia), aardwarks, whales and seals. Genetic analysis showed similarity in the DNA sequences of these creatures and ungulate mammals. This suggests that animals have a common ancestor, despite many differences in appearance.
Behavior and Nutrition
The early nature of the readiness for independent feeding of the ungulate cub and the active assistance provided by mothers from this animal detachment lead to intensive interaction between the mother and the offspring after birth. The movements, smells and vocalization of newborns stimulate normal maternal reactions. Mothers use visual, tactical, and vocal stimuli to identify and direct cubs. This phase of intense interaction is called the postpartum period. The length varies from less than an hour to more than 10, depending on the type of artiodactyls.
Most species of ungulates clearly fall into one of two categories with respect to the type of relationship between mother and offspring arising after the postpartum period. These two types are called "lurking" and "followers." "Hidden" are waiting for mom who will feed. "Followers" follow her from the moment of birth.
Most of the artiodactyls are animals that feed on plants. Some representatives of the species eat grass, while others eat the leaves of trees and plants. Many artiodactyls have large, complex, corrugated molars in their mouths to grind food. In most animals, fangs are reduced. Some artiodactyls, such as pigs , omnivores, feed on plant and animal foods.
Ungulate and human
Humans use ungulate mammals as a source of food, clothing, transportation, wealth, and pleasure. Some hunting habits, such as hunting bison across the American Plains, have developed a strong dependence of shooters on one species of artiodactyls. And the domestication of ungulate mammals formed large settlements and freed people from hard work. Sheep and goats were the first ungulate mammals that were domesticated about 10,000 years ago. Pigs and horses followed. Domestication of ungulate mammals continues today. In the 1900s, deer were domesticated. Today, more than 5 million deer are raised worldwide.
Interesting facts about artiodactyls - video