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Kids' Inquiry of Diverse Species

Local animals in this group:

even-toed ungulates

Artiodactyla

Even-toed ungulates are a diverse group of mammals found on every continent except Antarctica and Australia. There are 220 species in this group, including many varieties of deer, antelope, gazelles, bison, cows, goats, sheep, pigs, giraffes, hippopotamuses, camels, and others.

Most even-toed ungulates eat plant foods and have several notable adaptations to that lifestyle. Their chewing teeth are made up of complex ridges, which act to grind coarse plant materials. Many also have a digestive system that allows them to ferment the plant foods they eat. This allows them to extract as much nutrition from the grasses and leaves they eat as possible.

Most even-toed ungulates live in open habitats, such as grasslands, but many live in forested habitats, and hippos live in and near water. Many are well adapted to running; some of the fastest terrestrial mammals are even-toed ungulates.

Glossary

bilateral symmetry

having body symmetry such that the animal can be divided in one plane into two mirror-image halves. Animals with bilateral symmetry have dorsal and ventral sides, as well as anterior and posterior ends.

chemical

uses smells or other chemicals to communicate

endothermic

animals that generate their own body heat through metabolic processes.

motile

having the capacity to move from one place to another.

sexual

reproduction that includes combining the genetic contribution of two individuals, a male and a female

tactile

uses touch to communicate

 
University of Michigan Museum of ZoologyNational Science Foundation

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. "Artiodactyla" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 24, 2014 at http://www.biokids.umich.edu/accounts/Artiodactyla/

BioKIDS is sponsored in part by the Interagency Education Research Initiative. It is a partnership of the University of Michigan School of Education, University of Michigan Museum of Zoology, and the Detroit Public Schools. This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant DRL-0628151.
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