Cows and most cattle have split hooves. A cloven-shaped hoof has two toes. The split hoof offers the surface area needed to support the cow's weight and lets the two portions work independently.


The antlers on a male elk can grow to a length of 4 feet. All four toes on a wild animal's hoof are fused together to form a cloven shape. Because of the curvature of the hoof, the tracks left behind are reminiscent of a heart.


Deer are quick-jumpers. Keratin strengthens hooves beyond bone. Deer have cloven hooves, but they also have dew claws. Deer's two dew claws let them walk through mud and snow.


Each hoof has a horseshoe. All of the horse's weight is on one toe, unlike deer or elk. Horses' hooves grow 0.25 inches per month to 3 to 4 inches, so they get a new one every year.


Curved goat hooves add strength and balance. Their soft sole provides grip on slopes and deforms to accommodate terrain disturbances. Other adaptations for the wild include:


Rhinoceroses have hooves. 4,000-5,000 lbs. Every foot is emphasised. Their three toes produce a pad that evenly distributes foot pressure. Padded soles absorb impact.


Giraffes are 19 feet tall, the tallest mammal. 12" hooves. Their massive surface area prevents sinking. Not like most four-legged animals. They swing both legs to sidestep.


Bison are America's largest mammal. Cattle have two toes. A 2,000-pound, 6-foot bison. Great Plains animals consume sedges, grasses, and berries. Bison hooves aerate the soil, helping plants grow.


Pigs have cloven-shaped hooves. This increases their walking stability. Overgrown hooves can cause wounds and make walking difficult for pigs. Normally, pigs walking on hard surfaces don't require their hooves trimmed.

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