Artiodactyla (Even-toed ungulates) -

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Artiodactyla (Even-toed ungulates)

Artiodactyla > General of Artiodactyla

Artiodactyls are one of the two living orders of terrestrial mammals that comprise the ungulates, or hoofed mammals. These orders are distinguished primarily by the animals’ feet: the Artiodactyla are known as the even-toed ungulates in contrast to the Perissodactyla, or odd-toed ungulates.

A moose

The name Artiodactyla comes from the Greek words artios, meaning entire or even numbered, and dactylos for finger or toe. Artiodactyls are a highly successful order and the most abundant large land mammals living today with more than 220 species worldwide. This order includes many familiar wild species such as antelopes, deer, bison, and giraffes, along with the familiar and important domestic species such as camels, cattle, goats, pigs, sheep, and water buffalo.

Although many artiodactyl species are relatively large and well known, scientists are still discovering new species. Since 1992, five new species of artiodactyls have been described, including one (Pseudoryx), and possibly another (Megamuntiacus), making two new genera. Each of the new species occurs in Southeast Asia (Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam). In addition, the Vietnam warty pig (Sus bucculentus) previously thought to have become extinct, was rediscovered, and there was also a new species of Bovidae discovered based on horns of the supposed “Linh Duong” (Pseudonovibos spiralis), although this may be a hoax as the horns of at least some specimens have turned out to be fashioned from domestic cattle horns.

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