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Old 07-25-2019, 05:48 AM
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Running mammals - hooves vs paws


Herbivores (ungulates, horses, etc.) have hooves; predators (felids and canids) have paws. That seems to be a general rule when it comes to medium and large land mammals that either run from predators or run to chase down prey.

So I get why big cats and bears evolved paws - they use their claws as weapons. But why did wolves and dogs keep their paws? They don't use their claws as weapons. They do dig - is that the only reason? I wonder if a hooved wolf could run even faster, and thus have a higher likelihood of catching prey.

Thoughts? Were there ever hooved predators, or prey animals with paws?
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