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Published by jack elliot

The Mountain Goat

 

 

Hooves and Feet

 

There was once toes of  the eohippus which is now extinct that evolved into the hooves of the horse. just as how  other mammals have developed  special kinds of feet.

 

Cows, sheep, goats, deer, antelopes,giraffes and others evolved two toes with strong nails, which we call cloven hooves.

 

Other mammals, including pigs, elephants, rhinos and hippos, have developed small hooves, or very strong nails, on all their toes.

 

All the mammals which have hooves are called ungulates, which is the largest family in the order of mammals.

 

They eat grass or leaves and do not need to hunt other animals for food, and nearly all have good legs and strong hooves so that they can run away from the enemies who hunt them.

 

Each kind has developed the legs, feet and hooves which suit it best.

 

 

 

 

An ancestor of the camel had hooves, but the camel needed something special for travelling across the soft sand of the desert.

 

So it has evolved a special kind of foot.

 

It has two toes on each foot , with wide soft pads.

 

When a camel puts its foot down the toes spread side-ways making the pads into broad flat feet which do not sink into the soft desert sand.

 

 

 

 

The llama of South America is a close relation of the camel, but as it lives in mountainous country and not on sand it has not needed to develop the special foot of the camel.

 

Llamas are smaller than camels, and their special trick is to spit violently at any attacker.

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