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Tracking Quizzes

Quiz #48 - Answer

by Brian Booth

Photo 48G

The mystery animal is DOMESTIC DUCK.

Ducks are used intensively by rice farmers in Bali, as a natural pesticide – they eat the bugs that can infest the rice seedlings. Being waterborne animals, they are a natural fit for a waterborne crop. The descriptions that “rice requires careful control of waterborne insects”, and that this was the time of planting, were key clues in this quiz.

The way to identify the tracks is that there are 3 toes, indicating that the animal is a bird without a rear toe large enough to make an imprint. (Actually, ducks do have a rear toe [“hallux”], and it can be seen in softer mud.) From Photo 48F, webbing can be seen in between the toes, indicating the bird is in the duck / goose family.
Photo 48H

This quiz is a souvenir of a magical trip to Bali. Bali is well known for its tourist beaches, surfing and discos, but I did not visit these; I stayed on the interior of the island to see the rainforests, mountains, rice paddies, the traditional way of life, Hindu rituals, and the amazingly skilled and spiritual people of the island. (And, of course, some tracking.) It was an unforgettable journey.

Quiz #48 - Question      ...on to Quiz #49

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