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Friday Field Foto #97: Trace fossils in Californian anthropogenite

November 20, 2009

A few weeks ago I went up to the Sierra Nevada mountains to get some fresh air and go for a bike ride with some friends. We started our ride at a trailhead parking lot near the town of South Lake Tahoe and as I walked to the restroom I noticed some nice trace fossils preserved in this sedimentary rock from the anthropocene.

I thought it might be raccoon, but they seem to elongate. Anyone have other ideas? To give you a sense of scale, the biggest tracks are about 6-8 cm long.

In case you’re wondering, yes, the other imprints in the “rock” are pine needles.

Happy Friday!

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. Tommy permalink
    November 20, 2009 8:24 am

    Those look like Raccoon tracks to me, slightly deformed by being created in wet sediment.

    Top to Bottom

    L Hind Foot

    L Front Foot, R Front Foot

    LHind foot
    R Hind foot
    L Front Foot,
    R front Foot
    L hind foot,
    R hind foot

  2. November 20, 2009 12:18 pm

    I agree with Tommy… I went and looked through a gallery of animal tracks; none were great matches, but the raccoon track was closest.

  3. November 21, 2009 2:33 am

    definitely raccoon.

  4. Raccoon 2.0 permalink
    November 22, 2009 1:34 pm

    Not sure where you were with respect to the actual range of the Coatimundi, but it is a very racoon-like critter, and is found in parts of the SW US :

    http://www.desertusa.com/may97/du_coati2.html

  5. November 23, 2009 11:41 am

    I vote racoon, also.

  6. Rufus permalink
    November 23, 2009 5:35 pm

    I have seen these tracks before. The clue lies in the double outline identifiable in each print. They actually belong to an Eastern Betong wearing flippers circa Pangana era.

    Cheers,
    Rufus,
    Sedentary morphologist,

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