Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Any of various hoofed mammals of the order Artiodactyla, having an even number of toes, either two or four, on each foot. Artiodactyls include camels, pigs, hippopotamuses, and the ruminants, such as cattle, deer, sheep, and antelopes.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Of or pertaining to the Artiodactyla; cloven-footed; even-toed. Also artiodactylous.
  • noun One of the Artiodactyla.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective of, pertaining to, or belonging to the order Artiodactyla.
  • noun placental mammal having hooves with an even number of functional toes on each foot; a member of the artiodactyla.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun zoology Any ungulate mammal with an even number of toes and belonging to the Artiodactyla, including pigs, sheep, deer, cattle, and most grazing animals.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective of or relating to or belonging to mammals of the order Artiodactyla
  • noun placental mammal having hooves with an even number of functional toes on each foot

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[From New Latin Artiodactyla, order name : Greek artios, even; see ar- in Indo-European roots + Greek daktulos, toe.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Ancient Greek ἄρτιος (artios, "even") + δάκτυλος (daktulos, "finger, toe")

Examples

  • It has a nice figure of artiodactyl phylogeny, including cetaceans.

    Science, Non-Science, and Pseudoscience - The Panda's Thumb

  • There are at least eleven different species intermediate between artiodactyls and cetaceans in the fossil record and they occur in precisely the right sequence expected if cetaceans are derived from artiodactyl ancestors.

    Science, Non-Science, and Pseudoscience - The Panda's Thumb

  • The artiodactyl in the photo is a charismatic and very friendly male Babirusa.

    How big is a white rhino?

  • An Eocene peccary from Thailand and the biogeographical origins of the artiodactyl family Tayassuidae.

    Archive 2006-08-01

  • An Eocene peccary from Thailand and the biogeographical origins of the artiodactyl family Tayassuidae.

    Why putting your hand in a peccary’s mouth is a really bad idea

  • In more recent publications however (Groves 2001, Meijaard & Groves 2002a, b), it has been argued that most of the supposed subspecies are distinct enough to be recognised as distinct species, being as different from one another as are universally recognised species among other artiodactyl groups.

    Archive 2006-08-01

  • In view of the divergent anatomy of babirusas, most artiodactyl specialists agree that they represent an ancient lineage, Babyrousinae, which branched off from the rest of Suidae early in its evolution (Thenius 1970).

    Archive 2006-08-01

  • A few artiodactyl specialists make a point of using the latter name, but the former is more widely used and would easily win in a fight.

    Meet peccary # 4

  • The artiodactyl in the photo is a charismatic and very friendly male Babirusa.

    Archive 2006-08-01

  • In more recent publications however (Groves 2001, Meijaard & Groves 2002a, b), it has been argued that most of the supposed subspecies are distinct enough to be recognised as distinct species, being as different from one another as are universally recognised species among other artiodactyl groups.

    The many babirusa species: laissez-faire lumping under fire again

Comments

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  • About 10 million years after the meteor struck, the first hoofed mammals, or ungulates, appeared. One order of ungulates, called Perissodactyla, includes just a handful of living species, such as horses,hinoceroses, and tapirs. The other order, Artiodactyla, is much larer and includes pigs, cows, goats, sheep, camels, llamas, giraffes, deer, antelopes, camels, hippopotamuses, bison, and water buffalos. Both orders of ungulates might be called tiptoers. Their hooves are actually outsized toenails, and they walk like ballerinas en pointe. . . ."Perissodactyl" means "odd-toed": the foot's axis cuts through the center of the middle digit, and the animals walk either on three toes, like rhinos and tapirs, or just one, like horses, zebras, and donkeys. "Artiodactyl" means "even-toed": the first digit (the thumb or big toe) is absent, and the feet are symmetrical, with the axis running between the third and fourth digits . . . . they appear to have a single hoof split down the center, what the King James Bible describes as the "cloven foot."
    Mark Essig, Lesser Beasts: A Snout-to-Tail History of the Humble Pig (New York: Basic Books, 2015), ch. 1.

    May 15, 2016