even toed ungulate

Goat vocabulary - Ziegenvokabular (German)

For my dear @nnapulitanerd to get you fluent as fast as possible. 

die Ziege - the goat
das Säugetier - the mammal
der Wiederkäuer -  the ruminant
der Paarhufer -  the even-toed ungulate
die Hausziege - the domestic goat
die Wildziege - the wild goat
der Westkaukasische Steinbock - the West Caucasian tur 
der Ostkaukasische Steinbock - the East Caucasian tur
die Schraubenziege - the markhor
der Alpensteinbock - the Alpine ibex
der Syrische Steinbock - the Nubian ibex
der Iberiensteinbock - the Spanish ibex
der Sibirische Steinbock - the Siberian ibex
der Äthiopische Steinbock - the walia ibex 

das Horn - the horn
das Fell - the fur
der Huf - the hoof

das Fleisch - the meat
der Käse - the cheese
die Milch - the milk
die Wolle - the wool
das Leder - the leather

Originally posted by space-grunge

anonymous asked:

If you think about it 0 is an even number and cetaceans have 0 toes so them being even toed ungulates makes sense (yes I know the actual reason)

Can’t argue with that

EVOLUTION OF THE WHALES

Christmas is almost here, so what better topic to post on than the evolution of the whales!?!?

65 million years ago the earth was devastated by a catastrophic meteor impact that resulted in the death of the dinosaurs. Mammals back then had been slowly evolving but remained small and mostly nocturnal, yet when the dinosaurs perished they quickly took over abandoned niches in the skies, land and water becoming one of the most incredible dynasties the world has ever seen.
Some of the most beautiful of this diverse group are the marine mammals, the cetaceans (whales, dolphins etc). The ancestor of the whales left life on land to make the oceans their home. With over 86 species existing today of whales, dolphins and other marine mammals, they make up the order Cetacea which include the magnificent blue whale reaching a whopping 30 metres in length to the little known porpoise species, Vaquita reaching only 4.5 metres long.
The evolution of the whales is documented in an incredibly rich fossil record dating back to over 50 million years ago…

Pakicetus, 50 million years ago
Pakicetus is regarded as the most basal (earliest) whale. Although Pakicetus primarily lived on land, it is the first of the land mammals to show significant developments towards a future in ruling the oceans. Pakicetus is known from only a few incomplete specimens found in Pakistan but it is predicted to have been about a metre in length. Interestingly, Pakicetus was an artiodactyl (or even-toed ungulate, an order which includes the giraffes, camels, pigs and cows), however, Pakicetus shows some defining characteristics of evolving for life in the water such as elongation of the skull and body and the teeth begin to lose the heterodontus nature. The eyes of Pakicetus were also high on its head suggesting a capability to hunt not only on land but in water too.

Ambulocetus, 49 million years ago
Ambulocetus literally means “walking whale” and shows more extreme divergence towards an aquatic lifestyle. Ambulocetus shows even greater elongation of the skull and simplification of its dental morphology. Unlike the marine reptiles of a bygone era, Ambulocetus would have swam through the water with vertical motion. The morphology of Ambulocetus’ inner ear is also similar to that of modern cetaceans meaning it could probably hear well underwater. Ambulocetus also shares some similarities with modern crocodiles such as high nostrils, pointed teeth and a long skull, making it likely that Ambulocetus was a deadly ambush predator, a far cry from its gentle giant descendants.

Rodhocetus, 46 million years ago

Rodhocetus fossils are also restricted to Pakistan and beautifully depict a familiar whale like skeleton with much shorter limbs and elongated hands and feet (that were most likely webbed). The nasal openings of Rodhocetus has also moved higher up the skull and closer to the eyes. Again, Rodhocetus shows specific morphologies that are characteristic of artiodactyls, they have a double-pulley astralagus (heel bone) found in all modern even toed ungulates.  

Basilosaurus, 37 million years ago
Basilosaurus is probably the earliest skeleton that very closely resembles modern whales, the name means “king lizard” which is highly inaccurate but fits well when considering that Basilosaurus had a long and slender body that could reach an almighty 18 metres in length. Basilosaurus also shows an extraordinary reduction in limb size compared to its ancestors meaning it is in no way adapted to live on the land any longer. At the time of Basilosaurus’ existence it was one of the largest marine animals to have existed since the days of marine reptiles (such as Liopleurodon and Mosasaurs). The teeth of Basilosaurus had similar morphology to modern killer whales indicating they were highly active hunters.

The whales of today are some of the most remarkable creatures to have ever existed. We often stand and stare in awe at the immense sizes of prehistoric marine animals in museums and it is easy to forget that we are living at the same time of the largest animals to have ever existed, past of present, the whales. We then often neglect to appreciate how magnificent these creatures are. Sadly this has led to a massive depletion in their numbers and diversity due to pollution, fishing and hunting. The whales and all other cetaceans have some of the most wonderful social structures known in the animal kingdom as well as incredible intelligence. In the last 50 million years this order has conquered oceans across the world and delighted humans all over. Cetaceans are fast becoming more endangered and if we do not act, in years to come our descendants will wonder how their ancestors let these wonderful creatures slip through their fingers.

Daeodon, from the late Oligocene and early Miocene of North America (~29-19 mya). About 1.8m tall at the shoulders (6′), it was one of the last and largest of the entelodonts, a group of omnivorous even-toed ungulates with long bone-crushing jaws.

Although often called “hell pigs” or “terminator pigs”, entelodonts weren’t actually pigs at all – instead they were much more closely related to hippos, whales, and Andrewsarchus.

anonymous asked:

Maybe we should start calling cetaceans "sea cows" since they're actually artiodactyls like land cows.

Listen, I would be behind this idea 100%, but sea cows already exist, and it’s the worst

Not that sirenians are the worst, obviously, because if you think manatees are the worst I’ll fight you, but come on, they’re the ONLY obligately marine mammals that AREN’T EVEN MODERATELY CLOSELY RELATED TO COWS, AND YET

Whales, dolphins, porpoises, etc are all descended from an even-toed ungulate, in the same order as cows, giraffes, bison, reindeer, and all the other little cetartiodactyls you can think of. So, super understandable to call them sea cows! But we don’t. We save that name for the sirenians, who, on the other hand, are more closely related to elephants and hyraxes. Of course.

I’d even be alright with pushing for english to adopt the nomenclature of a few other languages and call the hippo a sea cow - at least its an even-toed ungulate, even if it is primarily a freshwater animal. Frankly, it would be better than the other common name for hippos, “water horse”, when EVERYBODY KNOWS that HORSES are QUITE CLEARLY in the order of ODD-TOED UNGULATES. GOSH

tl;dr: Whales are sea cows, manatees are sea elephants, and hippos are just the worst

australet789  asked:

I agree with you about not wanting to do Deerper as an always scary monster, basically because I cant stop thinking of "Bambi" (i know) and how much this character grew to be the Prince of the Forest. After this movie I have a respect for deers and kind of admiration.

DUDE OKAY IMMA GO ON A HUGE CERVIDAE RANT BECAUSE DEER ARE AMAZING ANIMALS OKAY. IF ANYONE THINKS THEY ARE “WEAK” THEY AREN’T PAYING ATTENTION.

Mule Deer Buck, my basis of Dipper’s deer half.

I put it all under a read more because I got long-winded in my enthusiasm.

Keep reading

An excerpt from the zoological text The Hunter’s Encyclopedia of Animals (First Edition).


CHAPTER I: An overview of the common rath

The rath (Mandibulaformia terribilis) is one of three extant species in the genus Mandibulaformia and a member of the family Caelincolidae. The widely-used term common rath collectively denotes the genetic variations and phenotypic discrepancies documented between “Old World” and “New World” raths found on the five major continents. With some males exceeding 4.1 metric tons and a length of over 17 meters, it’s one of the largest flying wyverns after the gravios, diablos, and gureadomosu. The rath is one of the most widely-dispersed land species following humans and wyverians. Their range encompasses most tropical, subtropical, and temperate biomes at max elevations of 2000 meters, with average rainfall in certain climates oscillating between 21 to 170 inches annually. The rath is a least concerned species, due to extensive management from the International Hunters’ Guild in regulating the number of individuals that can be killed or captured per year.

In the wild, females (rathians) have an average lifespan of 39 to 47 years, their longevity greater than the males’ (rathalos) at a range of 35 to 42 years. They’re typically seen in forested midland ecosystems, although habitation has been observed in deserts, highlands, and volcanoes. Raths are typically solitary wyverns when unmated, and only shift their lifestyle to cooperative hunting during and after the mating season. These prenuptial hunts—much like the ruts seen in even-toed ungulates (such as the kelbi)—are a part of the sexual selection process by which a rathian chooses a potential mate amongst various candidates (barring other selection factors). Raths are apex and keystone predators, although scavenging on carrion is estimated to contribute up to 35% of their diet. Direct attacks on human, wyverian, and lynian settlements are rare, and raths will seldom prey upon and consume them should they encroach their territory. Raths are predominantly diurnal, although nocturnal behavior is not unheard of.

Due to its widespread presence on nearly every continent, the rath is an easily-recognized animal symbol in many cultures. Depictions of raths date back to the earliest traces of civilization, with paintings of them seen on cave walls, masonry, and pottery. More telling is the presence of primitive weapons constructed from talons, claws, and spines, and armor fashioned from rath scales and plates, found on archeological digs. In ancient societies it was hailed as an omen of destruction, and in certain cultures its portentous reputation is alive and flourishing today. In many countries raths are hunted not only for equipment, but as parts of exotic dishes, with their ribs and loins in high demand in markets worldwide. Raths have been kept in menageries since before the formation of the Guild. Domestication and selective breeding of a related rath ancestor 40,000 years ago gave rise to the halk (Raptor domesticus).

Keep reading

Hooved animals don’t get hands in Zootopia apparently. This was jarring to me at first as we’ve seen that Gazelle (gazelle) and Bogo (cape buffalo) have hoof-hands. Then I realized why there’s a difference… Giraffes, gazelles and cape buffalo, for instance, are even-toed ungulates. It makes some sense that they would have fingers in Zootopia. But zebra and donkeys (the Zootopia species we’ve seen with hooves so far) are odd-toed ungulates with one hoof per limb.

I knew Disney was doing their homework with this movie given how the fur for the many species being represented is being uniquely modeled after how it appears in real life. The team also recalled watching each animal in real life to make sure the character’s movements are authentic. But damn, they’re precise down to the toe-number!

Must suck for the horses and donkeys though. Can’t use a smart-phone with hooves.

Bison are large, even-toed ungulates in the genus Bison within the subfamily Bovinae. Two extant and four extinct species are recognized. Of the four extinct species, three were North American: Bison antiquus, B. latifrons, and B. occidentalis .

jesus-lizard-journal  asked:

Tell us about ancient whales.

Whales, as we all know, are mammals, specialized to live entirely in the water.  Animals this physically derived must have had quite wild evolutionary histories.  Let’s take a look at the journey that whales have taken, from their earliest definitive ancestors - the archaeocetids - to their iconic modern forms.

The earliest known archaeocetids are the pakicetids - wolf-sized animals that lived in the Middle East around 50 million years ago.  Their fossils are commonly found in freshwater stream sediment, but their features were not adapted for swimming, indicating that they were wading animals.

Pakicetus, pictured above, looks kind of like a combination of a wolf and a rat, but based on the structures of its feet, it was actually an artiodactyl, or “even-toed ungulate”, belonging to the same order of mammals that includes pigs, cows, camels, deer, and giraffes.  Although all modern ungulates are herbivorous, numerous carnivorous varieties existed during the Paleogene period.

(Side note: Phylogenetic analysis reveals that the closest living relative of whales is the hippopotamus, and that the archaeocetids and the ancestors of hippos are both derived from the same semi-aquatic common ancestor.)

Perhaps the best-known archaeocetid is Ambulocetus, which lived a few million years later.  Ambulocetus would have been ungainly on land, but not a particularly efficient swimmer, either; it likely ambushed its prey, similarly to a crocodile.  It also possessed some of the same traits that whales utilize to transmit sound underwater, indicating that it may have been a social animal, or perhaps that it used a primitive form of echolocation.

Other families of transitional proto-whales are known to paleontologists, painting a relatively complete picture of whale evolution.  Through the fossils of animals like Remingtonocetus and Protocetus, we can see that their limbs shrunk as their tails grew longer and more powerful, their vision grew weaker as they gained a more acute sense of hearing, and their nostrils gradually traveled up the snout and into the modern “blowhole” position.

The first whales that were obligatorily aquatic, having no land-going capability whatsoever, were the basilosaurids, which lived around 40 million years ago.  At this point, whales had a worldwide distribution; fossils of Basilosaurus have been discovered in America, Egypt, and Jordan.  Basilosaurus was discovered in 1839, before the evolution of whales was known to science, and was initially mistaken for a large reptile; hence the “-saurus” suffix traditionally reserved for dinosaurs and lizard-like reptiles.

Basilosaurus was a likely the biggest animal in the world at the time, reaching lengths of over 50 feet.  Its anatomy was primitive - it still had hind fins, for instance, and a defined and flexible neck - but it was still recognizably cetacean.  Like the modern killer whale, it probably preyed on its own smaller relatives - the dolphin-like dorudonts.

Until 25 million years ago, all known whales had teeth.  Janjucetus, pictured above, is the first known whale with baleen.  It possessed both baleen bristles and traditional teeth, suggesting a generalist lifestyle rather than an immediate reliance on filter-feeding.  (Note the more modern cetacean anatomy in comparison to Basilosaurus, as well.)

The development of baleen marked a split in the order Cetacea.  Baleen whales grew more and more dependent on filter-feeding, while toothed whales continued what they had been doing for millions of years.  Today, these groups - modern baleen whales and modern toothed whales - are known as Mysticeti and Odontoceti.

The whales have certainly come a long way over the course of fifty million years.  I’m sure the archaeocetids would be proud of their descendants’ great success in the seas, and of all the weird and wonderful forms whales would eventually take.