Who Done It?

Grand Canyon

Hiking up a side canyon of the Colorado River, I found these tracks and eventually encountered the little fellow that made them.

Photo by Dennis Deck

Who made this pattern? [ View Answer ]


Even though the indidividual tracks are not clear in the dry sand, the pattern can be readily seen. This is the bounding gait of a small mammal, such as a small squirrel. It was moving left to right, with the front feet on the left touching first. The diagonal placement of the front feet should suggest a ground dweller.

The white tailed antelope ground squirrel is a common resident of the southwestern desert. This small ground squirrel lays its tail up over its back when it runs, revealing the white underside of the tail.

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