Animal Tracks of Southern California by Chris Stall

By Chris Stall

Details on 40-50 animals universal to every area.

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Animal Tracks of Southern California

Details on 40-50 animals universal to every area.

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Toad tracks generally consist of nothing more distinct than a trail of little holes and scrapes, with impressions that sometimes resemble little toad hands. The distinguishing characteristics are the mode of wandering, the short rows of four or five round dimples left by the toes of the larger rear feet, and the drag marks often left by the feet as the toad moves forward; those toe-drag marks point in the direction of travel. You won't get warts from handling toads, but make sure you don't have insect repellent or other caustic substances on your hands that might injure the toad's sensitive skin.

Combined with other signs, the resulting widely spaced pairs of prints clearly indicate the passage of these interesting rodents. Similar, but smaller, more closely spaced tracks are made by pocket and kangaroo mice. Page 35 Merriam's Kangaroo Rat life size in sand Page 36 California Ground Squirrel Spermophilus beecheyi Order: Rodentia (gnawing mammals). Family: Sciuridae (squirrels). Range and habitat: absent only from the arid southeast corner of Southern California; in nearly all open areas, avoids thick chaparral and dense forest.

2. Decide what kind of animal is most likely to have made the tracks; then turn to one of the two main sections of this book. The first and largest features mammals; the second, much shorter section is devoted entirely to birds. 3. Measure an individual track. Tracks of roughly 5 inches or less are illustrated life-size; those larger than 5 inches have been reduced as necessary to fit on the pages. Page 7 4. Flip quickly through the appropriate section until you find tracks that are about the same size as your mystery tracks.

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