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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!

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 :

  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.

    Sedentary morphologist,

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