I have had a lot of people asking me the meaning of my blog’s title so I thought I’d try to explain it as best as I can.

An ungulate is a term used to group hooved mammals, such as zebras, deer and camels. There are two types of ungulates; odd-toed ungulates and even-toed ungulates. Odd-toed ungulates are also known as Perissodactyls, which mean uneven fingers or toes. On the other hand, even-toed ungulates are known as Artiodactyls. The former include mammals like zebras, horses, tapir and rhinos. The latter consists of cows, sheep, goats, antelopes, deer, hippopotamus, pigs and giraffes.

Other than the distinction in their hooves, these two groups are also different in terms of their digestive systems. Odd-toed ungulates are predominantly grazers and have relatively simple stomachs, digesting their food inside their intestines instead of being able to regurgitate them later and chew them as cud. This is a characteristic of the ruminant even-toed ungulates which have four chambers in their stomach and because of their more specialized digestive systems; they can afford to spend less time than their odd-toed counterparts to forage for food.

To those of you who know me, it should not come as a surprise now why my blog was named after it. One of my all-time favourites of the animal kingdom is the Sable Antelope and it is an even-toed ungulate.

The pictures below should make the distinction of odd and even-toed ungulates clearer.

JV.

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Pictures: (Top) Even-toed ungulate & (Bottom) Odd-toed ungulate

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