jamesedwardthornton's picture

Stoat Prints w/ Scale

Observed: 25th January 2011 By: jamesedwardthorntonjamesedwardthornton’s reputation in Mammalsjamesedwardthornton’s reputation in Mammals
Species interactions

No interactions present.


the naturalist man's picture

. . . . Mustilid prints continued

Continuation from


Interesting, these are not dog, the hind pad is clearly crescent shaped, a dog's is triangular. Also the claws are definitely joined to the toe pads, they would be separate in a dog.

The size indicates stoat rather than mink or weasel but where is that missing fifth toe?

I think I've found it, two toes have slipped together; look closely at the second toe from the left on the left hand print, it has two claw marks very close together. Also that is where the errant toe is missing from, the others follow the pattern of a stoat. I think the same has happened to the right hand print with the second from the right toe, it's just not as clear.

Now I have some scale I'm happy with stoat.

Thanks for this detective puzzle!

Graham Banwell

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jamesedwardthornton's picture

Thanks for the detailed

Thanks for the detailed reply, let's see what Simon thinks though!

I have to ask about the difference between the two prints though. Why has the left so obviously got claws and the right doesnt? Is this front and back feet overlapping when running?


Simon Roper's picture

Thanks for the scale

Very useful scale - thanks - and can see instantly that dog is off the i.d. list. I see what you mean about the hidden claw - tricky to see, but entirely possible. OK, I'll go with stoat now :) Nice detective work. Re the claw marks- interesting question - as with all tracks the angle of contact foot to substrate can influence the marks left. Registration (one foot covering another) can also complicate the picture. Keep tracking! Cheers, Simon