Tracking Quiz website

Tracking Quizzes

Quiz #33 - Answer

 
1. The mystery animal is GRAY SQUIRREL
 
2. The squirrel was using a bounding gait.

3. The tracks in the front are the hind feet; the tracks behind them are the front feet.

This track pattern is classic for the rodent family, traveling in a bound and leaving a set of 4 tracks in a W shape. The animal takes a big leap with its front feet, then the larger hind feet straddle outside of and land forward of the front tracks. Its a bit hard to see in these tracks, but 4 toes are registering in the front feet and 5 toes registering in the hind feet, which is also consistent with the rodent family. The relatively large trail width of 4 inches is too big for a mouse, shrew, vole, chipmunk, or flying squirrel, and larger than most red squirrels, so that pretty much narrows it down to gray squirrel.

I enjoyed these trails that showed squirrel bounds for extended distances going across the frozen marsh & pond, which is a bit out of the ordinary for a squirrel. More commonly, I find squirrel trails under the cover of forest, often just going short distances from one tree trunk to another.

 

Quiz #33 - Question      ...on to Quiz #34

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