Encyclopedia of Animal Cognition and Behavior

Living Edition
| Editors: Jennifer Vonk, Todd Shackelford


Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-47829-6_1455-1


Ungulates are defined as animals with hooves. This simply implies that a portion of the terminal phalanx is encased in a sturdy hoof. Because many species of ungulates commonly live in open habitat types, they are often the most visible fauna on the landscape (Groves and Grubb 2011). As such, it may be surprising to some that there is a large gap in the research conducted on this fauna group, with generally little known about specific species (Groves and Grubb 2011), such as the elusive okapi.

Ungulates are found on every continent except Antarctica. They can be social or solitary, nomadic or territorial. While the Smithsonian Institution acknowledges 275 modern ungulates, Groves and Grubb (2011) recognizes 450 distinct ungulates through utilizing the Phylogenetic Species Concept as opposed to the more traditional Biological Species Concept. Even with the vast number of ungulate species, true ungulates are generally confined to two orders based on the number of toes they...

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Zoo AtlantaAtlantaUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Marieke Cassia Gartner
    • 1
  1. 1.Zoo AtlantaAtlantaUSA