Tales from the Bear

Tracks or footprints, are they all the same?

  • Nov. 23, 2018 12:30 p.m.

I was looking at the footprints that my husband and I had left along the dirt road near our house. I knew they were ours since we had just travelled that way not five minutes earlier and those were the freshest ones.

Well, I was pretty sure anyway, I think. I am no tracking expert by any means, but I noticed a few differences about them and it got me thinking. I know that is always worrisome, right? Is there a general rule in sizes or types of prints?

Now I know they say an elephant leaves a totally humongous print. It would be deep and wide and very distinctive. There are tracks and prints from all manner of species including humans.

Of course, we wear shoes though. We are not the only species who do that. Naturally the actual shoes of any kind are man-made. This can obscure the details to be found from the prints terribly.

I mean really, what if someone were wearing what looked like clown shoes. How could we track that? Do animals generally have a foot/paw or whatever to match their height? Not necessarily.

What about shape and the amounts of toes? Just look at the size of a horse’s hooves. They are approximately 4 to 8 inches. They are not huge at all, but some are large animals.

How about a giraffe? Their hooves can be as big as 12 inches. That does help with their size. To balance them I suppose, but look at some basketball player’s shoes. They are even bigger. So now we know height alone is not why the sizes are what they are.

I myself have small feet and am, um, not exactly tall. Haha. But, even so, my feet are longer than four inches.

So, I suppose we, as in, all of the beings in our world who have free walking types of movement, all have different types of walking and running capabilities and our feet/paws/hooves are shaped the way they are for reasons that make perfect sense.

We seem to be the luckiest ones since we get to alter the looks and feel of ours with shoes/boots etc, to aid our activities. Other species don’t have the same luxury. That is something to be thankful for, right? I know I am!

We make our own lives easier with each of the different types of footwear invented. I think I have pondered long enough and will go break in that new pair of shoes for another walk! Gotta keep those legs and feet moving!

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