Machynys's picture

Otter? and what?

Observed: 28th April 2011 By: Machynys
Mix of two sizes paw prints
Mix of two sizes paw prints 1
Mix of two sizes paw prints 1 2
Mix of two sizes paw prints 1 2 3
Mix of two sizes paw prints 1 2 3 4

I noticed these prints over the last few days beside a river fed pool which is inundated by the tide trapping Mullet. it was today that I noticed the smaller prints. The first time I noticed the prints there was a short slide into the water leaving a thick round tail print, as usual I did not have my camera with me. these prints are prety regular as the tide covers them twice a day. I have observed them Sunday Wed Thurs

  • Otter/Mink
    Confidence: It might be this.
  • two mammals (Mammalia)
    Confidence: I'm as sure as I can be.
    Likely ID
    Brown Rat and Dog
    Confidence: I'm as sure as I can be.
    ID agreements (): 2 People
    • forest rangerforest ranger’s reputation in Mammals
    • the naturalist man
      The Mammal SocietyYorkshire Naturalists' Union
      Mammals expert
Species interactions

No interactions present.


Machynys's picture

Are these Otter prints and

Are these Otter prints and what are the smaller prints

Billy Wix

Syrphus's picture

None of these is Otter. The

None of these is Otter. The larger is a dog or Fox, while the others are probably Brown Rat.



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the naturalist man's picture

Dog and rat

I agree, these are dog and rat. The problem is they are in mud so the dog is splaying its pads out for grip distorting the usual shape. The first one is interesting though as it appears to have at least six claws! This is where the dog has stepped on its own print at another angle.

The reason I am so confident they are dog is the triangular rear pad on the paw, this could only be dog or fox. I'm ruling out fox because the fourth and fifth pictures lack the 'X' mark usually left by foxes. Also I think they are too big compared to the rat prints - hard to be sure though.

Otter prints would show some webbing and more claw on a print as deep as these.

Why do they appear to come out of the water? The dog likes swimming? Is the bank too hard to leave a distinctive print? Could you take a photo of the whole set to see the pattern of movement?

Graham Banwell

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