Bovid facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Sable antelope
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Bovidae
Gray, 1821

Bovids are a family of even-toed ungulate mammals. Even-toed ungulates are said to have "cloven hooves": that just means their hooves are formed from two toes.

There almost 140 species in this family. They include cattle, goats, sheep and antelopes. The family is widespread, living in continents except South America, Australia and Antarctica.

They are all ruminants, with the double stomach system of digesting vegetation, which is most efficient. The family originated in the Miocene, and is now very successful. Their success, and that of the three domestic animals (cow, sheep and goat) is probably helped by their digestive system.


  • Family Bovidae
    • Subfamily Aepycerotinae (one genus: the impala)
    • Subfamily Alcelaphinae (one tribe and four genera: wildebeest and relatives)
    • Subfamily Antilopinae (three tribes and 15 genera: gazelles and relatives)
    • Subfamily Bovinae (three tribes and ten genera: cattle, bisons etc.)
    • Subfamily Caprinae (three tribes and 13 genera: goats and sheep)
    • Subfamily Cephalophinae (three genera: duikers)
    • Subfamily Hippotraginae (three genera: antelopes)
    • Subfamily Panthelopinae (the Tibetan antelope)
    • Subfamily Peleinae (the grey rhebok)
    • Subfamily Reduncinae (two genera: more antelopes)

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Bovid Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.