Mammal mysteries

Mammal mysteries

©Philip Precey.

你有没有发现任何神秘的曲目或未解释的粪便?用来自哺乳动物侦探Darren Tansley的一些提示来解决这种情况。


However, even the stealthiest species leave behind clues for us to find. Look around and you’ll see telltale signs of these animals’ hidden presence. Some are obvious, like large piles of poo left in prominent places, others are more subtle, like nibbled pinecones at the base of trees. One of the most exciting things to find is a footprint. The best place to look for prints is in soft soil or mud, especially after rain. If it’s been snowing, footprints can be seen almost anywhere.


Cats and dogs

有成千上万的猫和狗在英国,所以there are plenty of pet prints around, especially in popular dog walking spots. Being able to tell them apart from prints left by wild animals is necessary when playing detective. Because dogs come in such a variety of sizes, their prints can be very variable, though are often around 3-5cm wide. They have four toes with big claw marks in front of the toes. Cat prints are generally 2-3cm wide and, because cats pull in their claws when walking, they have no claw marks at all. Another key feature that sets them apart from dog prints is that one middle toe is always longer than the other.

Dog prints

狗印花©Darren Tansley


Foxes are the wild cousins of dogs, so their prints also have four toes, but their footprint is a neat diamond shape. There is a triangular foot pad with four toes around the sides and front, with two neat claws forming a point at the front. Their droppings are also dog-like, usually pointy at one end, and full of fur, feathers, tiny bones, seeds and berries. Fresh dropping have a particularly pungent, musky smell.

Fox print

Fox print © Darren Tansley


Badger feet are as big as a medium dog’s but have five toes instead of four. Their prints show a wide, squarish foot pad with five toes in front of it. The toes have long claws for digging. Badgers follow the same routes when they’re foraging, so leave well-worn trails wherever they search for food. Look for straight tracks across fields or coming out of woods, hedges or along fences. They poo in shallow pits called latrines, and their droppings vary from firm and sausage shaped, to soft and slimy.

Badger prints in mud the wildlife trusts

©Philip Precey.




红鹿和麂插槽© Darren Tansley


Rabbit footprints are an oval shape. You won’t really notice separate paw marks, but the four feet are arranged in a triangle as they hop around. It is often easier to find rabbits by looking for the little round pellet droppings they leave on lawns and fields where they have been feeding.


兔子轨道© Darren Tansley


大鼠在前脚上有星形脚趾打印,长时间脚。大鼠的大小与豚鼠相似,因此它们的占地面积仅为1.5-2厘米。他们常常沿着沟渠,溪流和河边找到 - 只要有食物和某个地方到洞穴!大鼠粪便在一端和另一端尖尖,浅棕色到黑色,粘稠,柔软,令人难以释放地闻到。他们的粪便可能对人类有害,所以你应该避免触摸它们。

Rat tracks

Rat tracks (c) Darren Tansley


水獭花了很多时间在河里,所以你最有可能沿着水的泥泞的银行找到足迹,或在桥梁下的沙子和淤泥上找到泥泞的银行。他们在一个大垫上有五个泪珠形脚趾,但是一个脚趾通常在一边是一个侧面 - 如果你传播出来,看看你的拇指。在沿着河流或桥下,沿着河流或桥梁造成突出的地方,疏散者往往将丢弃(称为矮人)。饲料看起来很脆弱,充满鱼鳞和小鱼骨,当茉莉花茶叶的新鲜气味时。

Otter print

水獭打印©Darren Tansley

Grey squirrel skull

Ellen Kinsley