Perissodactyla – Odd-toed ungulates

Wide distributed hoofed order comprises rhinos, tapirs, zebras & horses

These are the odd-toed ungulates, meaning their hoofs have a single dominant toe in the middle, passing the symmetry line and dividing both sides into equal halves. Hence, one main weight-bearing hood.

Before the Oligocene epoch (34 to 23 million years ago), perissodactyls widely outnumbered the even-toed ungulates, but ever since, they have been in decline.

Except for horses and donkeys, today, all odd-toed hoofed mammals are scarce in number. For example, only five species of rhinoceros remain today, out of which three stand on the brink of extinction (status ‘Criticality endangered’). Several Tapirs species have also made it to the Red Data Book. It’s in our transient hands to undo what we’ve brutally afflicted on nature’s majestic creations over millions of years.