Who Done It?


This red fox frequents the flood plain area along the Sandy River in Oregon looking for rabbits and small rodents. Its tracks can frequently be seen in the sand in the dry flood channels.

Photo by Dennis Deck

What is the fox doing in this photo? [ View Answer ]


A trot is perhaps the most frequent stride used by the red fox as it makes its rounds. Normally the trail width is quite narrow with a trot and the hind foot directly registers on top of the front foot.

In this photo, however, we see a more complex pattern as the fox moves from right to left. The pattern is left front, left hind, right front, right hind. The hind foot lands to the left and ahead of the front foot. This suggests a side trot. The fox is looking to the right so the body turns, forcing the hind foot to land to the left of where it would normally land. The distance between the front foot and hind foot suggests that the fox is moving a bit faster than the normal trot.

As I followed this trail I noticed that the fox first looked right, then left, and finally straight ahead. In the second photo, we see him suddenly stop, sniff out an area, and then resume the hunt.

[ View Question ] - [ Return to Menu ]