Journal archives for February 2020

February 14, 2020

Wolf Tracks

Wolves spend 8 -10 hours/day on the move and can travel great distances.

Wolf tracks, like those of all canids, show four toes on each foot with claw marks present. The tracks of a wolf and large a dog are indistinguishable, even to a trained wolf biologist.
The secret to telling the two apart is not in looking at the tracks, but in examining the behaviour of the animal that made them. A dog will move in a wandering crisscrossing path, stopping often to play, sniff, and dig. A wolf, on the other hand, moves more in a direct line. They march most often in single file and only stray from their course to investigate danger or potential food.

The wolf's front legs are close together but their knees turn in and their paws turn outward allowing their front feet to set a path which their hind feet follow precisely. When trotting, wolves leave a neat single line of track, an advantage when moving through deep snow.

Wolf tracks will wander more when snow is not too deep, creating a pattern of braided footprints and making it easier for observers to number individuals traveling in the pack. There were 5 in this pack.

So next time you are out in the snow - check for tracks.

Posted on February 14, 2020 00:53 by larryhalverson larryhalverson | 1 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

Columbia Spotted Frog Tadpole

For the last couple of weeks Columbia Spotted Frog tadpoles are changing (metamorphosis) into frogs. You can see the fully developed hind legs in this photo. The front legs develop inside the tadpole’s body and do not become visible until they pop out fully formed. This tadpole had also lost it’s gills and was seen swimming to the surface to suck in air. The tail is the last to disappear as it is reabsorbed into the body.

Metamorphosis is a particularly hazardous time for amphibians as they do function well in either water or on land. At this stage they are less efficient at avoiding predation than either tadpoles or frogs.

Posted on February 14, 2020 05:09 by larryhalverson larryhalverson | 1 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

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