Larger, 4 front and 5 back

over 1 inch in some dimension, with 4 toes in the front and 5 toes in the back

(click on photos to see a larger version)

Eastern Fox Squirrel

photo of Eastern Fox Squirrel tracks in snow

eastern fox squirrel tracks in snow

Eastern Fox Squirrel

  • size: over 1 inch
  • 4 front toes
  • 5 back toes
  • claws might not show

Eastern fox squirrels have claws, but the claws don't always show up on their tracks. Their front feet are between 1-1.5 inches long and wide. Their back feet are usually a bit longer (up to 2.5 inches).

When they walk they tend to keep their front feet (smaller and 4 toed) together and their back feet (larger and 5 toed) together.

Another good way to figure out if squirrels have passed by is to look for cracked open nut shells.These squirrels live in trees, and are common near trees.

Eastern Grey Squirrel

photo of Eastern Gray Squirrel tracks in sand

eastern grey squirrel tracks in sand

Eastern Grey Squirrel

  • size: over 1 inch
  • 4 front toes
  • 5 back toes
  • claws might not show up

Eastern grey squirrel tracks are basically the same as eastern fox squirrel tracks. If you see squirrel tracks, look around to see what kinds of squirrels may have left them.

Muskrat

Muskrat

  • size: over 1 inch
  • 4 front toes
  • 5 back toes
  • claws might not show up

Muskrats have four toes on their front feet and five toes on their back feet. They have claws, but the claws might not appear on their tracks.

Their front feet are 1-1.5 inches wide and about 1.5 inches long, making them a little bit longer than they are wide. Their back feet are 1.5-2 inches wide and long. You also might find tail markings in between their tracks.

When muskrats walk they group their front and back right feet together and their front and back left feet together. So, when you see their tracks you will find groups of two tracks at a time.

photo of muskrat tracks in snow, leading to hole in ice

muskrat tracks leading to hole in the ice

Woodchuck

Woodchuck

  • size: over 1 inch
  • 4 front toes
  • 5 back toes
  • claws might not show up

Woodchucks have claws, but the claws don't always show up on their tracks. Their front tracks are about 1.5 inches wide and 2-2.5 inches long. Their back tracks are also about 1.5 inches wide, but can be 1.5-2.5 inches long.

Why does the size vary so much? Woodchucks tend to walk with only the front part of their back feet touching down. Because of this, you mainly find partial tracks of woodchuck feet.

When woodchucks walk, they put their hind left feet in the tracks of their front left feet and do the same with the right side. So when you see their tracks, it might be hard to tell the different tracks apart, but there will be groupings of a single front foot (4 toes) and a single back foot (5 toes) every so often.

Norway Rats

Norway Rats

  • size: about 1 inch
  • 4 front toes
  • 5 back toes
  • claws might not show up

Norway rats have claws, but the claws don't always show up in their tracks. Their footprints are usually about 1 inch in length and width.

As Norway rats walk, one back foot (5 toes) will usually be grouped together with one front foot (4 toes). Because of how they walk, you will see several small groupings of a front and back foot in a row. You might also see tail markings.

These rats have made themselves at home among humans.They will generally be found near any human habitation. They usually eat food that humans have left behind or left unguarded.

 
University of Michigan Museum of ZoologyNational Science Foundation

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BioKIDS is sponsored in part by the Interagency Education Research Initiative. It is a partnership of the University of Michigan School of Education, University of Michigan Museum of Zoology, and the Detroit Public Schools. This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant DRL-0628151.
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