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Learn more about perissodactyls from the


  1. mesaxonic limb structure--odd-toed ungulates [fig 17-2]
  2. unguiligrade
  3. femur with third trochanter


Equidae--horses, asses, zebras [Fig. 19.4]

  1. Ethiopian, Palearctic
  2. 1 genus, 6 species
  3. foot with one functional digit [Fig. 17.2C]
  4. cursorial [Fig. 16-1]
  5. complete postorbital bar
  6. cheek teeth of extant genera hypsodont
  7. grazers

Przewalski's horse

  1. Equus ferus przewalskii
  2. The last surviving population of truly wild horse.  All other so-called "wild horses" are feral, descended from escaped domesticated horses.
  3. Smithsonian National Zoological Park, photograph by William Lukefahr

Equus burchelli, Burchell's zebra photograph by Rachel Ratcliff, taken in Kruger National Park, South Africa.


Tapiridae--tapirs (fig 19.6A)

  • Traits
    1. 1 genus (Tapirus), 4 species
    2. Neotropical, Oriental
    3. inhabit moist, tropical forests
    4. weigh up to 300 kg
    5. forefoot with four digits, hindfoot with three
    6. chunky body with short legs, an elongated head, small eyes and ears
    7. snout modified into movable proboscis
    8. cheek teeth brachyodont
    9. feed on twigs, shoots, fruits, grass
    10. good swimmers; feed or seek refuge in water
  • Net Resources
    1. The tapir gallery

Tapirus terrestris; South American Tapir; photograph by Dr. Lloyd Glenn Ingles, California Academy of Sciences.

Rhinocerotidae--rhinoceroses (fig 19.6B,C; 19.8)

  1. Ethiopian, Oriental
  2. 4 genera, 5 species
  3. head concave dorsally
  4. one or two simple horns composed of solid mass of hardened epidermal cells located near snout.  not attached to bone [fig 19.7A]
  5. three digits on all feet (4 may be present on front)
  6. graviportal: weigh up to 2800 kg
  7. all are in danger of extinction

Rhinoceros unicornis Indian Rhinoceros; photograph by John White; Cal Photos

Cerathotherium simum, White Rhinoceros; photograph by Rachel Ratcliff, taken in Kruger National Park, South Africa.


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