Ungulates (Hoofed Mammals)

Using Mathematical Principles to Gain a Deeper Understanding of the Form and Function of Hooves

The role of ungulates’ hooves, which are morphologically complex structures, is to support body weight and provide traction to aid in their adaptation to varied external conditions. This essay aims to investigate the relationship between the mathematical model and the morphology of the hoof. The golden ratio, an irrational constant…

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From Fetus to Fossil: A Microscopic Analysis of the Chemistry of the Hoof Throughout the Stages of Life

Abstract Hooves are morphologically complex structures among ungulates that support body weight and provide traction to assist their adaptation to various external environments. This article aims to investigate the differences in hooves throughout the stages of life. The perspective narrows from the general topic of hooves down to the fascinating…

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Mechanical Analysis of Animal Horns

This essay dives into animal horns and the physical composition, mechanical properties, and ingenious designs that make them incredibly effective at everything they do. It features a selection of horn structures from different organisms in the animal kingdom, which demonstrates the diversity of horn structures while also showing the uniform…

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A Mathematical Analysis of Animal Horns

The following essay examines the application of mathematics to biological structures, in particular animal horns. It begins by exploring the evolutionary reasons for ornamental appendages among horned animals.  Mathematical computations reveal a relationship between ornament size and “honest advertisement” due to a high cost of having such large appendages. Furthermore,…

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Fancy Footwork: A Morphological Study of the Role of the Hoof in Ungulate Locomotion in Habitats Around the World

In many mammals around the world, nature has designed a variable and complex structure placed at the tips of limbs called a hoof. Hoofed mammals, also called ungulates, are divided into two orders: even- and odd-toed ungulates. The divergence of these mammals from a common ancestor has led to the…

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Biomolecular Applications of Animal Horns

Ovis canadensis (“Bighorn Sheep,” 2022) Chemistry is the basis of life. Behind every thought, feeling, movement, or biological function, there are a series of chemical reactions occurring. With this said, it comes as no surprise that the chemical composition of animal horns plays a vital role in the mechanical properties,…

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The Mechanics of Antler Bone: A Weapon for Courtship

An organism’s evolutionary fitness is determined by its ability to pass on its genes to its offspring. Males of some species make use of their courting and fighting abilities to gain access to mates, thus passing on genetic material. When it comes to Cervidae, or the family of ruminant mammals,…

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Mathematical Modeling of the Antler Growth Cycle

Antler regeneration is a complex process unique in nature because of its year-long perpetual cycle. Although antlerogenesis is a process shared by all males in the Cervid family, many factors affect individual antler growth and the characteristics of individual antlers. This paper will discuss these factors and their effect on…

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