Tracking Quiz website

Tracking Quizzes

Quiz #10 - Answer

The answer is our familiar friend, MOUSE. In this case probably a white-footed mouse or deer mouse. Not many animals to choose from that have feet & body that small - I believe vole & short-tailed shrew would have a shorter tail, and other species of shrew would have a smaller body, but that’s just a guess from field guides.

These tracks were educational for me, though, as they showed how far a mouse can bound, that mice can tunnel through the snow, and that they are smart enough to cache food for future use. Also clued me in as to how much you can learn from animal sign when the tracks themselves are hard to see.

Addendum re mouse species, from Julie Liptak:

According to Bernd Heinrich (& others)...

There are 2 species of deer mice, one being the "official" deer mouse Peromyscus maniculatus, & the other is the white footed mouse Peromyscus leucopus. Evidently only experts can distinguish the 2: "the defining a molecular variation in their salivary amylase, an enzyme in their saliva that helps digest starch." (pg. 200, Winter World, by Bernd Heinrich)

File this under "more than I need to know"  &/or  "conversation topics for an office social event".

I shall henceforth call all my meese "deer mice".

By the way, the above book is excellent - it's about animal survival in winter.


Quiz #10 - Question      ...on to Quiz #11

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