Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Interesting Footprints; Or: Hey, Lynn, You Out There?

We saw some awesome critter footprints on our hike. At first I assumed the prints in this photo were that of a raccoon. But then I wondered if they could have been made by one of the busy beavers:

I am amazed by the footprint (paw print?) of this fellow--looks so much like a human hand:

Who could have made these prints? I think we need an expert to tell us. Dr. Lynn, world-famous veterinarian, do you know? I know I'm putting you on the spot here, but then, you are amazing...


A Novel Woman said...

Raccoon or beaver I'd say. How big are the prints? I have a whole chart of animal paw prints at my cottage, but I haven't memorized it so I'm not much use.

I'd guess the baby hand one is the front foot of a beaver (the back ones show the webbing). I'm sure someone more knowledgeable will be along shortly. Cool beans whatever it is!

george said...

That last set of prints is pretty wild. I'm eager to hear if you get some definitive feedback.

Lottery Girl said...

Dear NW,

You clever gal, you. I like your guess for the baby hand print--I didn't think about the front feet being different from the back...

These prints are small, somewhere between two-three inches.

Lottery Girl said...


Yes, the last set is bizarre. Reminded me of the first time I was in the Smithsonian Natural History Museum and I wandered into the section where they display skeletons of many different creatures. It is downright spooky how the Primates are all soooo similar.

Lynn said...

Thanks for thinking of me! Those tracks are definitely beaver tracks. Both beavers and raccoons have 5 toes in the front and the back--but the beaver's front paws seem slightly shorter, with the raccoon's front toes more slender. The beaver's hind foot is also webbed where the raccoon is not. Also you may see the flat drag sign of the beaver's tail around the tracks.

I wish I were there to see the tracks with you. Looks like you had a great hike!

Lottery Girl said...

Dear Lynn,

Thanks a million for responding! I appreciate your expert knowledge!

As I was telling NW, REALLY strange about the front and back feet being different. Learn something new every day I suppose!

I didn't see flat, drag lines from the beaver's tail, but you can see fine, criss-cross marks, especially in the first photo. If you click on the photo to make it bigger, they are easier to see.

Yes, it would have been awesome to have you and Andrew hiking with us!