Animal Toes...

Stephen Jay Gould taught me that the horse’s hoof is a “middle toe.” (Or middle finger.)

What equivalent toe or finger are the two hooves of ungulates?

Also, what equivalent toe or finger are a dog’s dewclaws?

Not a homework question! Just curious!


Third and fourth.


Thanks! Just one of those things that one wonders in the middle of the night!

Camel toe

(A little ugly, but SFW.)

Ungulates in which the weight is borne on two main hooves are known as the even-toed ungulates, orartiodactyls. As has been said, their main toes are the third and fourth. All the artiodactyls have lost the equivalent of the thumb (digit I). Many have small dewclaws behind the main hooves, representing the second and fifth toes, but some like camels have lost them.

Horses, rhinos, and tapirs are odd-toed ungulates, or perissodactyls, in which the weight is borne on the middle toe. Horses have lost all the other toes. Tapirs have four toes on the front feet (II, III, IV, V), and three on the rear (II, III, IV). Rhinos have three toes on each foot (II, III, IV).

Okay, that’s cute! Ya got me!

I was going to ask about elephants, but that, I was able to Google. Elephants have five toes. In fact… Elephants have six toes!

(Not really; it’s a pseudo-toe, a little like the panda’s pseudo-second-thumb. But fun to learn!)

(Yes, I really do try to look up answers before I ask them here. But in a contest for the world’s worst Googler…)

Norwegian lundehunds have six toes. And a rubber neck. And dislocatable shoulders. Puffins can run but can’t hide.