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Tracking Quizzes

Quiz #41 - Answer

by Brian Booth

The mystery animal is BISON.

Actually, when a bison leaves tracks, itís rarely much of a mystery, being one of the largest animals in North America. The tracks of elk are similar, but generally about 1 inch shorter and narrower, and with notably sharper tips to the toes. The tracks of a horse are somewhat similar, but rounder; not showing the cleft in the hoof on the front. In areas outside of Yellowstone where cattle could be present, an adult domestic cow could leave tracks similar to bison, but they would tend to be wider and with even more blunt toes. The tracks of a domestic calf could appear very similar to bison - luckily that could pretty much be ruled out in this case, being so deep in the wilds of the national park.

Nevertheless, bison tracks are always awe-inspiring, and wondrous to find and examine. They roam Yellowstone in great herds, and are part of what makes the park such a special place.

I have made many journeys to Yellowstone, and each trip seems to be better than the last. Looking forward to going again sometime.
Thanks much!

Quiz #41 - Question      ...on to Quiz #42

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