Test Your Tracking Skills #4
Who Made These Tracks?
They are about 6 cm wide. Who made these tracks Badger, Pine Marten, Fox or Otter?
Otters belong to the mustelid family that includes badgers, pine martens and stoats. All mustelids have five toes on both their hind and fore feet. The thumb does not always register.
The track on the right is a left hind foot. The thumb or toe 1 is placed much lower than the other four toes. The toe pads and palm pads are quite large and fused in the hind foot. In the photo you can see the webbing between the toes, but this does not always show.
The heel pad is often visible on the fore foot, which is more rounded with a smaller, V-shaped palm pad. Can you spot the other fore foot?
Otters usually move in a looping lope because of their short legs and long spines.
These tracks were made by a bitch and cub. The cub is having to leap to keep up with its mother who is moving at a steady lope.
Which foot is this, hind or fore?
This is part of the Becoming A Winter Nature Detective information.