Horse, Rhinos, and Tapirs: the odd-toed hoofed animals
Simply put, the Odd-toed Ungulates (or perissodactyls) are an order of hoofed animals that have an odd number of toes. They are usually large grazers, although some of them are browsers instead.
Although they aren't as common as the Even-toed Ungulates (cattle, deer and camels), they are still some of the best known hoofed animals in the world!
There are three separate families in this order:
Equiidae - the Horses
Rhinocerotidae - The Rhinoceroses
Tapiridae - The Tapirs
Equidae - The Horses
The horses are large-bodied, long-legged grazers. They are most at home on open prairies, grasslands and savannas. They are generally social animals, and can be seen in very large herds. The Plains Zebra, for instance, lives in some of the largest herds of any mammal!
There are six species of Horse in one Genus:
Equus africanus - The African Wild Ass and it's descendant, the Domestic Donkey
Equus hemionus - The Asian Wild Ass
Equus callabus - The wild horse (essentially extinct) and its descendants, the various breeds of Domestic Horse
Equus quagga - The Plains Zebra - arguably the most numerous wild horse alive
Equus zebra - The Mountain Zebra
Equus grevyi - The Grevy's Zebra - The largest non-domestic horse
Asian Wild Ass
Rhinocerotidae - The Rhinos
Rhinos are massive herbivores. The largest rhino, the White Rhino, is the second largest land animal on earth. With their short legs, heavy bodies, and nose horns, the rhinos couldn't be more different than their horse relatives!
Five species of rhino exist today - two in Africa, three in Asia. They are generally divided into two categories - the two-horned and the one-horned rhinos.
Ceratotherium simum - The White Rhino of Africa
Diceros bicornis - The Black Rhino of Africa
Dicerorhinus sumatrensis - The Sumatran Rhino - The smallest living Rhino
Rhinoceros unicornis - The Indian Rhino - Slightly smaller than the White Rhino
Rhinoceros sondaicus - The Javan Rhino
Tapiridae - The Tapirs
Tapirs are strange Perissodactyls that live in the forests of South America and Malaysia. They are unusual among Odd-toed Ungulates in that they have four toes on their front feet and three on their rear feet. Adding to their unusual appearance is a short trunk growing down from their top jaw.
Although they are heavily built, tapirs are the smallest of the Odd-Toed Ungulates. All four species of tapir are in the same genus:
Tapirus indicus - The Malayan Tapir. The largest of the family, and the only one to live in theEastern Hemisphere
Tapirus pinchaque - The Mountain Tapir. The smallest member of the family
Tapirus terrestris - The Brazilian Tapir
Tapirus bairdii - The Baird's Tapir. The largest mammal in South America