Archive for hoof

All About Ungulates

By Bob Robb

The most popular big game animals hunted in North America—deer and elk—belong to a group of animals classified as “ungulates.” Ungulate comes from the Latin word for "hoof", and since all ungulates have hooves, it’s quite appropriate. For a long time this extremely large group was considered by scientists as one order, but today "ungulates" refers to two distinct orders, Artiodactyla and Perissodactyla. They are separated by the number of toes each member of the group has. Animals in the order Artiodactyla, which includes elk, deer, bison, pronghorn, and the peccaries) have an even number of toes. On the other hand, animals in the order Perissodactyls, which includes horses and elephants, have an odd number of toes.

October 03, 2012