Tracking Quiz website

Tracking Quizzes

Quiz #7 - Question


There are 2 groups of photos: the same animal on 2 separate days at the same location.  Neither group
of photos is enough to nail the answer, but looking at the 2 groups together helps to narrow down the possible choices.


Habitat: Stream & pond in forested swamp, city park, suburb just outside of Hartford, CT.  The stream flows out of a marsh, which receives runoff from a "mountain" of yard waste at the town dump.  The pond is man-made, built up along the stream bank; this forms a narrow peninsula of land in between the pond & stream.  The pond has culverts built into its bank; if the pond receives a lot of rainwater, it will drain into the stream through the culverts.

Photos E1-E5 are in early January, in consolidated, wet snow. They show the animal's trail going out of the stream, across the peninsula, into the culvert, and back into the stream. 

Photos E1-E2 show a distinct 2-2 bounding pattern.  Stride was all over the board, ranging from 9-31", but generally at 15-20" when the animal was at a constant pace. 

Photo E1


Photo E2


Photo E3 shows the trail going into the culvert (bottom trail, going right to left) and out of the culvert (top trail, going left to right).  Note that prior to entering the culvert, the animal did a belly slide. 

Photo E3


Photo E4 is a close-up of the belly slide (belly width = 2").

Photo E4


Photo E5 is a close-up of a pair of tracks.  Footprints are 1" wide by 1" long; trail width = 2".

Photo E5


Photos E6-E10 are in late December, same location, in fresh, soft snow. They show the animal's trail after having crossed the frozen pond, going across the peninsula and into the stream.  The ice was too thin for me to walk onto & photograph, but the tracks started at a patch of open water on the far shore of the pond, suggesting that the animal was swimming under the ice.

Photo E6 shows the trail leaving the ice and bounding up the bank of the pond, traveling right to left.  It is hard to see, but as the animal jumped up from the ice, it left a belly trough in the snow (again, 2" wide).

But wait, look at the very right edge of Photo E6 - the animal left something left behind on the ice.  What is it? 

Photo E6


Take a closer look, in Photo E7, what the heck is that?  Take a closer look, be careful not to step onto the thin ice.

Photo E7


Oh my gosh, it's a crayfish! (Photo E8; out of focus.)

Photo E8


Photo E9 shows, again, a 2-2 bounding pattern going across the peninsula.  Stride ranged from 14-17".

Photo E9

Photo E10 is a close-up of a pair of tracks, which registered 1" wide by 1" long; trail width = 2".

Photo E10


Quiz #7 - Answer

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