Species …

This page contains video clips that illustrate tracks, trails, or sign left by specific animal species.

Some foot structures and uses vary between animal families, and although all the same principles of track formation apply, and reading the tracks is essentially the same for all animal families, it’s also a little different for each foot structure.

For example there are four animal families who almost always use only two of the toes on each foot, and these toes are hooves:

Bovidae – Bison, Goats, Muskox, and Sheep

Cervidae – Deer

Suidae – Wild Boars

Tayassuidae – Peccaries

   The hooves flex very little during a step, and at slow paces there are usually only two foot structures, the two hoofed toes, creating each track.  This means that, compared to the human foot structure, this kind of foot leaves a simpler track.

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Concept Illustrated: The front track of a White-tailed Deer (Family: Cervideae, Species: Odocoileus virginianus) … Walking Pace

The Idea:  An illustration of the process a deer foot leaving a track while walking.  This illustration is intended as the basis for further refinements of color, content, lighting, and movement.

This clip is relatively brief and simple because it only a first step.

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Concept Illustrated: Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes) front and rear tracks … Side Trot

The Idea: An initial illustration of the process of Red Fox front and rear track formation while moving in a side trot, one of its frequently chosen gaits.

This clip is an evolving attempt so it is gradually being refined.  The ‘feet’ used in this simulation are a significant step forwards in terms of closeness to real life.

Each foot object is a one-piece mesh, shape-keyed to deform something like the real foot does as weight is added and removed.  The mesh is parented to an armature, and deformations are controlled by weight painting the skin to the bones controlling movement.

The skin of the foot is included in the Rigid Body Physics system.  This is worth mention because it means collisions of sand objects with the foot surface as the skin flexes will be controlled by the Rigid Body Physics system.

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The links below will take you to the rest of the illustrations.

Page: The Concepts of Tracking…
Testing Sand
The Translucent Foot
Whole Track: Red Fox – One Forward Step

Page: Foot Movements …
Canine Claw Tip Leaves Track in Fine Sand

Page: How To Find and See Tracks …
Controlling Lighting to Increase Visibility of Tracks
Finding the Next Track
Dust Compressions (Dull on Shiny by Canine Toe Pad)
Track on ‘Bare’ Rock (Red Fox Front Foot)
Using Stone Rolls to Find Tracks
The Tracking Stick

Page: How To Read Tracks …
Simple Tire Track and Direction of Travel
True Track (Canine Toe Pad)

Page: Track Features …
Pressure Against the Track Wall (Canine Toe Pad)
Simple ? Wave
The Layer of Sand in Contact With The Foot
The Ridge Between Canine Front Toes

Page: Trails …
The Human Trail