The term ungulate is generally used to describe all hoofed mammals. It is broadly used as a practical, descriptive name that groups together six taxonomic orders - Tubulidentata, Hyracoidea, Proboscidea, Sirenia, Perissodactyla, and Artiodactyla. Hyracoidea, Proboscidea and Sirenia are often grouped together as paenungulates ("almost ungulates") as their feet have nail-hoofs instead of true hoofs. Ungulates have developed hoofs - specialized claws or toenails - as an adaptation for running. They are one of the most successful and diverse groups of mammals, having colonized nearly every habitat on all continents except Antarctica and Australia. Since the beginning of the 20th century, more new ungulate species have been discovered than any other type of large mammal.
Hoofed mammals. Ungulate is now used as a name to group together six taxonomic orders: Artiodactyla (even-toed ungulates, eg., pigs, camels, deer, and cattle); Perissodactyla (odd-toed ungulates, eg., horses, tapirs, and rhinoceroses); Hyracoidea (hyraxes); Proboscidea (elephants); Sirenia (sea-cows); and Tubulidentata (the aardvark).
Ungulates (meaning roughly "hoofed" or "hoofed animal") are several groups of mammals most of which use the tips of their toes, usually hoofed, to sustain their whole bodyweight whilst moving. They make up several orders of mammals, of which six to eight survive. There is some dispute as to whether ungulate should be treated as an actual cladistic (evolution-based) group, or merely a phenetic group (similar, but not necessarily related), in light of the fact that all ungulates do not appear to be as closely related as once believed (see below).