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Sunday, January 30, 2011

Tapir Tracks in the Concrete

Tacoma, Washington ~ August 27, 2006

Some of the things you find on the pavement are just unique. It was such a cool surprise when I looked down and saw tapir tracks in the pavement. Zoos are doing a lot more these days to enhance the educational and fun value of the grounds as well as creating interesting habitat for what's inside the enclosures.

Pictured above is a tapir's rear footprint. Since the zoo has Asian tapirs, I'm assuming they took a mold from their Asian tapirs to use when they poured the concrete - and anyway, the footprint of each species has its own conformation. An Asian tapir print might possibly be confused with a Baird's tapir, but probably not with the other two species. The hind foot of every tapir species has three toes, and each toe is encased in its own separate hoof. Interesting, yes? Tapirs have feet that are totally unique in the animal world.

Now it gets even more interesting. Here you see a hind foot (below) with the forefoot superimposed over it, obliterating part of the track. This is a typical footprint pattern of tapirs. Note that the front foot has the prints of four toes. All tapirs have four toes on each front foot, but sometimes the tracks imprint in such a way as to make it appear that there are five toes. The tapir is not the only animal that steps in its own tracks. Check out these prints of big cat footprints, too.

See tapir feet here and tapir footprints here. Thanks, Point Defiance Zoo, for making your pavement so interesting and educational!

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A Tower on the Floor, Monreale

Monreale, Sicily, Italy ~ April 29, 2004

I seem to be having "Monreale Day" here in Tapirgal's blog world. Please visit two more blogs for more of marvelous Monreale. You can also follow this link to see other posts about Monreale on Animal Art Along the Way.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Down the Drain

Bend, Oregon ~ November 6, 2010

Here is the fate of many of the leaves that were so glorious in this fall photo.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011