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Here is a few more from another bridge around the Snoq. Valley area of western WA.


1) What 2 species?  What are some differences in their tracks?

2) What species?


3)What species?  What is the likely sex?


3) What species? Why?


4) What species?


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1) The track on the left belongs to a coyote, note the x-shaped negative space in front of the heel pad as well as the narrow, foreward pointing claws that would indicate it is not a domestic canine.  I would say that it is a front left track looking at how well the heel pad registers, its overall shape and the position of the lead toe.  The track on the right belongs to a bobcat, no claws register and the heel pad has three lobes on the bottom and is bi-lobate on top.  It is a right hind (look closely and you can see the more asymetrical right front registering behind and partially on top of it).  Also note how the coyote sank deeper into the substrate due to its larger size and greater body weight compared to the cat.

Nice work, Jeremy!


Yes, it is a coyote track.  It is actually a rear, and that is because in this track you can see the small heel pad, which is almost the same size as a single toe.  The front feet have significantly larger pads.


Yes, it is a left... you can see this by the slight lead toad and lead claws.


Yes, those are bobcat tracks and there is a right front and right rear in the photo.


What do you think about the other tracks on this page?

1. Coyote and Bobcat.

You can tell it's a coyote based on the tight toes and claws; in this substrate, I think domestic dog would splay more.The coyote's track looked to me like a left front foot, because of the leading toe and overall shape (rounded, whereas hinds are narrower?) and depth in substrate. But I see now the small heel pad that shows it's a hind.
The other track looks like a bobcat - no claws, shape of palm pad with three lobes below and two above, c-shape of negative space. There are two bobcat tracks here in an indirect register. A front and hind (front towards the top of the picture, hind towards the bottom). I'm not sure how to tell if these tracks are the right or left side of the body. I'm inclined to say right, because of the angle of the hind relative to the front. Any other clues?

2. Townsend's Chipmunk? I'm not sure about this one. My guess is a chipmunk because I see 4-toed front tracks on the left, and a 5-toed hind on the right (though it's rotated perpendicular to the rest of the set - did this animal jump/turn abruptly?). The fronts and hinds are a similar size, and digits pretty long and narrow. The stride looks too small to be a doug squirrel.

3. Long-tailed weasel. The arrangement of the toes reminds me of river otter, but smaller - typical mustelid structure. Heavily furred feet means that often only the toe pads register, rest of the track is pretty obscured. In the clearest track in this photo (a right front), you can see the single proximal pad clearly registering.  

4. Deer Mouse? 4 toes on front, 5 on hind. Tips of toes bulbous, disconnected from palm.

5. Two hind feet of a Pacific jumping mouse. Long, thin toes 2, 3, and 4 curve slightly inward.

I'm curious about the answers/thought processes to 2-5. Differentiating small mammals is challenging.

Nice work!  Great observations Joanna.

1) Coyote and Bobcat.  And, I just noticed this now, but there is a 3rd species in there as well.  Can you see it?  Look to the lower left of the coyote's metatarsal pad.

2) Believe it or not, these are the tracks of a weasel. These are especially deceptive because the toes don't show the "opposite spock" pattern as clearly, and on two of the tracks toe 1 appears very faintly as a smudge.  Its not unusual in firm substrates for weasel tracks to be missing the smallest lowest toe.  They are sometimes described as "miniature dog tracks."  In firm substrate, going up slope a weasel may sometimes only leave claw impressions.

3)I remember their being some debate amongst that staff regarding the id on this one.  It is very large for a long-tailed weasel, though not absurdly large.  I initially went with long-tailed weasel, but after having look at comparative foot morphology between L-T weasel and Mink, I am leaning more towards a small female mink.  Notice the robust toe pads, and the well-developed metatarsal and metacarpal pads.  Those would be much more reduced on a long-tailed weasel of similar size.  I am open to discussing this one further. :)

4)Because of the substrate, these look very similar to deer mouse tracks.  Look at the scale, and you might notice they are a bit too large for deer mouse.  These are actually the tracks of a small black rat.  The size and robustness of the pads, as well as their shape and arrangement says "black rat."

5) These are tough, as they are rather faint and only the hinds are present.  These are actually vole tracks.  Not the "waist" made by the meeting of the toes.  It is rather wide, the 3 leading toes are actually too short for jumping mouse.  Their toes are incredibly long, and rather bird-like in appearance.

1) coyote and bobcat. Coyote has claws and x-shaped negative space. Bobcat round toes and trapezoid shaped pads.

2) long-tailed weasel

3) western harvest mouse - shape of hind foot and placement of hind foot toe #1

4) Good question. Shrew? Hard to tell. 


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