Ungulates (clade Ungulata) are members of a diverse clade of primarily large mammals with hooves. These include odd-toed ungulates such as horses, rhinoceroses and tapirs, and even-toed ungulates such as cattle, pigs, giraffes, camels, sheep, deer, and hippopotamuses.



The peculiarity of most ungulates is the development of their horns as a means of protection from predators and as a tournament weapon. Animals belonging to different branches of the"tree" of ungulates have different structures. The body consists of the head, neck, trunk, forelimbs, hind legs, and tail. On the head of mammals are located the oral cavity and the organs of vision, hearing, smell and taste.

The size of ungulates ranges from small to very large (elephants).


Groups of ungulates unite more than 90 genera of animals distributed on all continents except Antarctica. They were introduced to New Zealand and Australia by humans as livestock. Some species of ungulates (sirens) live in the seas off the coast of continents and Islands.


These animals feed mainly on plant food, some are omnivores, such as pigs.


Males and females usually differ in size, color, and behavior. By the nature of reproduction, all ungulates` descendants are active from the very beginning and quickly grow up. In the litter, they usually have 1-2 young, they are born fully formed and are able to follow their mother within a few hours after birth.

In captivity

The lifespan of ungulates varies significantly depending on the species.

The most effective way to keep ungulates is semi-intensive. Its essence is the alternation of finding livestock in individual and group pens at different periods throughout the year. So in individual pens can be male producers during the rut (and individual males-constantly), females in the late prenatal, birth and initial period of feeding, young animals on artificial feeding. Being in pens of small areas, animals get used to the constant presence of humans and stop reacting negatively to people in general. They adapt to the daily routine, which reduces stress and generally has a positive effect on reproduction.

When transferred to adaptation pens of a large area, animals go wild, especially if they can see an example of their wilder relatives, even other species.

Hay comprises the bulk of the diet for most ungulates in captivity and should be available for most of the day rather than fed at intervals as meals.  Hay should be leafy and green, free of mold, dirt, excess weeds, and other foreign matter, and should not be overmature. Care should be taken so that hay contains no toxic chemicals, poisonous plants, traces of pests, or fungi, and is stored away from excessive heat.

Precautions should be taken if feeding silage products. If the silage was not processed or stored properly or contaminated by animal or meat products, it may contain fungi or bacteria that can produce lethal toxins.

Browse consists of leaves, bark, and branches of edible trees and shrubs. Animals the eat browse consume mostly the leaves. Browse can be cut during the growing season and then fed directly. In temperate areas, browse should be stored for winter and spring feeding. Browse can be stored dried, frozen, or as silage. Obtaining browse from a commercial provider is preferred. Appropriate species to feed are alder (black and grey), ash, aspen, bamboo, birch, blackberry, elm (field, wych),grapevine, hazel, hornbeam, lime, maple, hawthorn, nettle, plane tree, poplar (black), rose (dog), and willow, but not sycamore. Flowers and seeds from all browse species should not be fed unless it is known that they are safe.

In addition to hay, a pelleted diet that contains protein, minerals, and vitamins in concentrations adequate to meet the needs of domestic species and those wild species for which data are available should be offered. Depending on the nutritional status of the animal, ~0.5–1.5 kg should be fed per animal. Overfeeding can result in obesity.

Hay should be fed from a rack rather than off the ground for most species (elephants are an exception). Hay racks should be located at eye level for tall browsers such as giraffes and gerenuks. Pellets can be offered from a covered trough or (rubber) feed pans. Regularly feeding the pelleted diet in an animal’s holding area can facilitate close observation and easy capture. If possible, animals should be fed separately to ensure that each individual receives a similar amount of food. If feeding separately is not possible, at least two widely separated feeding stations may be necessary to reduce conflict and to ensure that subordinate animals obtain their share of food. Most ungulates should have a lick stone containing salt, vitamins, and minerals in their facility.

In addition to hay and pelleted diet, assorted fruits and vegetables often are fed to exotic ungulates. For most species, these items usually are not necessary except as an occasional treat; the amount should be limited to <5% of the total diet. The exception might be for those species that regularly feed on fruits and succulents in the wild.





Camelus dromedarius

Adult males range in height between 1.8 and 2 m (5.9 and 6.6 ft) at the shoulder; females range between 1.7 and 1.9 m (5.6 and 6.2 ft). Males typically weigh between 400 and 600 kg (880 and 1,320 lb); females range between 300 and 540 kg (660 and 1,190 lb).

Arabian camels have a lifespan of about 40-50 years.

Bison bison

 Heights at withers in the species can range from 152 to 186 cm (60 to 73 in). Typically weights can range from 318 to 1,179 kg (701 to 2,599 lb). 

Capra hircus

The height of adult males at the withers is 55-60 centimeters. Adult females are 40-52 centimeters tall. The weight of goats is up to 30-45 kilograms. The weight of lambs at birth is 450-400 grams. The length of the body is from 50 to 70 centimeters with a tail.

This dwarf goat can live up to 22-25 years.

Boselaphus tragocamelus

It stands 1–1.5 meters (3.3–4.9 ft) at the shoulder; the head-and-body length is typically between 1.7–2.1 meters (5.6–6.9 ft). Males weigh 109–288 kilograms (240–635 lb). Females are lighter, weighing 100–213 kilograms (220–470 lb).

The lifespan of the Nilgai is around ten years.

Taurotragus oryx

Females weigh 300–600 kg (660–1,320 lb), measure 200–280 cm (79–110 in) from the snout to the base of the tail and stand 125–153 cm (49–60 in) at the shoulder. Bulls weigh 400–942 kg (882–2,077 lb), are 240–345 cm (94–136 in) from the snout to the base of the tail and stand 150–183 cm (59–72 in) at the shoulder.

The Common Eland's life expectancy is generally between 15 and 20 years; in captivity some live up to 25 years.

Lama pacos

An adult alpaca generally is between 81 and 99 centimetres (32 and 39 inches) in height at the shoulders (withers). They usually weigh between 48 and 84 kilograms (106 and 185 pounds).

The average lifespan of an alpaca is between 15–20 years, and the longest-lived alpaca on record is 27 years.

Cervus dama

The male Fallow deer is known as a buck, the female is a doe, and the young a fawn. Adult bucks are 140–160 cm (55–63 in) long, 85–95 cm (33–37 in) in shoulder height, and typically 60–100 kg (130–220 lb) in weight; does are 130–150 cm (51–59 in) long, 75–85 cm (30–33 in) in shoulder height, and 30–50 kg (66–110 lb) in weight. 

Connochaetes taurinus

 While males weigh up to 290 kg (640 lb), females seldom exceed 260 kg (570 lb). 

The average life span is 20 years in the wild, and 21 years in captivity.

Ovis aries Ouessant

Rams are around 49 centimeters (19 in) tall at the shoulder, and the ewes about 45 centimeters (18 in).

The average life expectancy is 15-18 years.

Nesotragus moschatus

Suni are around 12–17 inches (30–43 cm) high at the shoulder and weigh 10–12 pounds (4.5–5.4 kg).

Life span can reach up to 13 years.