16 November 2007

Footprint Friday: Gray Wolf

Location: on a lake in northern Ontario, Canada. The forest around is decidious birch forest.
Approximate size of actual footprint (not the foot drag): 4x6inches (10x6 centimeters)
The snow is about human calf deep.
Can you guess who made these tracks?

Edited to add answer on the following Monday:
Yep, this is the gray wolf or Canis lupis. Doesn't it look just like a daisy chain? Up a bit, and not in the photograph is where it caught a snowshoe hare. Wild canines, unlike their doemstic counterparts, usually travel in pretty straight lines. He, I'm thinking he because their hips are narrower then females whose back feet are usually just slightly wider then their front, was probably dragging his toes along the top of the snow causing the drag. This is common in snow but not in mud.

PS - I changed my header/ banner. What do you think?


  1. ok so I guess that was an idea, but the drag wouldn't be foot, it would be tail.

  2. I'm so pleased you stopped by my blog, as it brought me here and I just love your descriptive writng of where you live.
    Can't quite imagine what it must be to live where you do, but your words certainly brought it to life.

  3. Can't even guess. Oh, was there a disappearing post? Hmmm...

  4. maypole, good guess! But with an river otter you would see body drag too actually because they aren't very capable of holding themselves off the ground.

    pixie, welcome and thanks! I enjoyed visiting you.

    liv, oh come on, guess! what could it hurt? Oh, and yes, a post did go missing...it's back up now.

  5. Wouldn't be your own tracks by any chance, would they?

    4" wide, 10" long? Although it doesn't look like it on the picture, it sounds like a human footprint from the description.

  6. Sorry, no idea about the tracks, american size measures make no sense to me. But I love your new banner. Breathtaking.

  7. I don't know about the footprints. I guess it has to be something with two legs rather than four.

    But I love your new banner.

  8. Let's see...dogs and cats, disreputable or otherwise, probably don't normally drag their feet like that. I've never seen moose and other hoofed animals drag their feet, but then I've never seen a moose in real life.

    As you've already pointed out, otters and seals would drag bodies as well, and snakes, which make all kinds of funny tracks, would freeze to death there.

    So, I'm guessing it's a small bear?

  9. trousers, I think you are mixing up the inches and the centimeters. they're not quite that big.

    saxifraga, thanks on the banner! As for the track sizes look in the parenthesis for your centimeters. I always use both.

    parlance, glad you like the banner! Nope, not a two legged beast. Many four legged beasts put their hind legs almost precisely in the same place as their forefeet had been.

    mad hatter, good guess! But they're a little too small for any kind of bear and the snow is rather deep so all kinds of animals that might not normally drag their feet might do so in these circumstances. (That's the tricky thin about fottprints, they change with the medium.)

    ecogeofemme, LOL! Man, you should see those prints! But these are a little far north for those particular beasties.

  10. Oops, sorry. I didn't see the cm's the first time around. Apparently I didn't read very closely. Well, now I've got to think. It's still not easy. They are kind of big, aren't they.

  11. Indeed I do appear to be getting mixed up - that's what happens when I try to be clever :)

    Looking forward to finding out the answer though!

  12. no idea at all. maybe cross country ski tracks?

    I love your new header. perfect for you.

  13. saxifraga, No worries :) And yep they are kind of big.

    trousers, here it is!

    crazymumma, awww...thanks.

  14. It really does look like a daisy chain :) How beautiful to see such tracks in powder snow!

  15. astrid, welcome! Aren't they beautiful?

  16. Thanks for solving a mystery. These tracks were found locally (Southwest Missouri) this morning. We found your site while searching for help in identifying the strange tracks. Thanks!


Please leave your messages here...I am always delighted to have comments!