A journey into the eyes and mind of a naturalist.

Tracking Quiz

On one of my many hikes I found a series of tracks that were quite perplexing.  I found them in the muddy ruts of a 4×4 trail.  There were places of stagnant standing water along the trail.  I have found perfect mice and vole tracks in the same area and was a bit confused when I cam across these track.

Let’s see if you can figure it out!

So here we have a detail of the track.  The first thing you want to do when looking at a track is not, as many would think, start identifying species.  So many species have very similar tracks and if you convince yourself right off the bat you may lead yourself down the wrong trail.

Start asking some questions:

How many species (who cares what type)?

How many individuals?

What direction where they going?

How fast?

Front leg, hind leg, or other?

Take a closer look at the picture above and see how many of these questions you can answer!

Here is a larger picture of the same tracks.  The firs picture is at the right of this picture.  See if seeing more tracks helps you figure out who’s tracks they are.  I’ll give you a hint:  There is more than one species present.

You will have to think outside the box and use all of the clues that I gave you.  Use the relative sizes of the shapes to help you out.  Look at all the different tracks, remember one track may be on top of another!

Good luck!

Up Next:  The Answers and more flowers!

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