Thursday, 12 March 2009

Walking in a Winter Wonderland: the answers.

Well, hopefully you enjoyed the little quiz that I put up a few days ago. I am pleased to announce that Sean South won the competition, by getting six out of eight completely correct.

The answers, and the precise details as to what gives them away, are below.

1. A red fox. The characteristics you should have picked up on were the visible, blunt claws with 4 digits, which show it to be a canid, plus the size of the print and particular spread of digits from the central pad, showing it to be a fox. A dog in comparison would have it’s digits spread less than this fox.

2. A roe deer. The speed of the movement (snow kickback) and size (stride length) show the animal to be large, and the thin prints going deep in the snow show it to have narrow feet. Must be a deer! I know it was a roe deer because I saw them making the tracks, but the distance between the strides show it can’t have been a large deer like a fallow.

3. A domestic dog. The four digits with visible blunt claws show it to be a canid, but the size and the narrower spread of digits show it to be a dog.

4. Two dog prints on top of each other. The 6 digits give this away a bit! Again, the claws were visible.

5. Probably a blackbird, but I am not an authority on bird prints, so any medium size passerine would have been acceptable. The flat feet show it to be a passerine.

6. Probably a fox digging. The print in the centre of the depression is from a fox, so I expect that the rest of the print was made by a fox.

7. A rabbit, I think! 4 main depressions are visible, and it must have hit the ground with some force to have punched straight through to the ground. The close together prints show that this is probably a rabbit.

8. Not a clue! It looks to have been melted by the sun to for a print larger than the original. This was probably a fox.

Needless to say, the last few prints are up for interpretation, and my ideas are just informed guesses. I have printed below the suggestions some people made as to the last 3, make up your own mind who is right!

badger
hare
okapi
chupacabra

Methinks that I know the young lady who suggested `okapi`, and that someone else wasn't taking this excercise particularly seriously...

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