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Howdy trackers,

Here are a few tracks to look at.  These are all from black bears.  Your mission is to tell me which foot they are: front, hind, right, left.  Good luck!






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Replies to This Discussion

1. left front

2. right front

3. left front and left hind

4. right hind

5. right front ( I don't want to argue this one at all)

How did I do?  How can you use toe arrangement to tell front from hind?

Good work... I'll let a couple others make some guess before I post my answers.  I think the middle three toes on the front foot have a little more arc to them than on the hinds.  Similar to skunks.  Of course the most conclusive way to tell fronts from hinds is to look at the length of the claws.  

Those are beautiful Bear tracks!

1. LH

2. RF

3. LH and LF

4. RH

5. I still think that's RF, but the other forum (#37) said it's a LF. Confused? I am going with RF because that's what it looks like to me. 

1. left hind
2. right front
3. left hind, left front
4. right hind

5. right front

Thanks for posting these, Connor! I've been trying to figure out bear feet lately, and am interested in what primary diagnostics people use. I've been looking mostly at claw length, but if the claws and heel pads don't register, I'm not sure what else to look for. Your note about the arc of the toes on fronts vs hinds helped, though.

1. left hind

2. right front

3. left hind above and I think a left front below (definitely a left but can't really tell if its a front or hind)

4. right hind

5. left front

Here are the two things I use: 

1. To tell a front from a hind look at the length of the claws, just like skunks.  If the whole heel pad shows up thats helpful too.

2. To tell a left from a right look at where the flat spot on the heel pad lines up under toes 3 and 4.  Here is a bad drawing that I made to try to show what I mean.  This is a great trait to look for in basically ALL mammals.  The heel pad that corresponds to toes 3 and 4 is often fused (like on rodents) or just bigger.  I relate bear tracks to cat tracks - that "bi-lobing" at the top of the heel pad on cats is basically the same on bears.  Here is my drawing:

Which would make that last picture a right front


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