Paws and Footprints

2012-12-20 (1)This is the best photo I’ve ever taken of four coyote paw pads! Here’s a post on them.

coyote paw prints

coyote paw prints

dog paw prints

dog paw prints

These are schematics showing the difference between coyote and dog paw prints. In theory these are correct. I have seen coyote tracks which look elongated as in the drawing. The photo of the coyote pouncing reveals a compact and oblong pad structure with claws pointing somewhat inwards, as in the drawing. And I have seen dog tracks which look roundish, with the claws splayed outwardly. But real footprints left on the ground are not always so clearly distinguished. The reason is that coyote pads and dog pads spread out on various surfaces.

Today I watched a coyote make these footprints on a wooden stair in the photograph below, so I know they are coyote paw prints.  Yet look at them: they look more like the drawing of the dog’s print.

coyote paw prints

coyote paw prints

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