The order Artiodactyla (“even-toed” ungulates) consists of 10 families and 240 currently recognized species around the world (Wilson and Reeder 2005). North America has 20 species with four species (families Bovidae, Cervidae, and Suidae) found within the state of Mississippi. Several key characteristics are used to define (and in most cases distinguish) Artiodactyla. The major characters include possessing a distinct foot structure termed paraxonic (main weight-bearing axis passes through the third and fourth digits), the upper canines and incisors are reduced or absent (in most), and the clavicle is reduced or absent, helping to facilitate cursorial locomotion (form of locomotion where some amount of time is spent running) (Feldhamer et. al. 2007).
Bison (Bison bison) Feral pig (Sus scrofa) White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus)