HERBIVORES

Spoor Guide

White rhinoceros (Ceratotherium
simum)
The white rhino has a broad track
compared to that of the black rhino. It
has three well-pronounced toes and the
back of the main pad has a very clear
``w`` shape which differentiates it from
the black rhino. The cushioned pads on
the soles of the feet have a random
particular pattern which enables
individual animals to be identified and
tracked.

Burchell's zebra (Equus burchelli)
The difference between male and female
tracks of zebra is that the hind hooves
of the female are more slender and
more pointed than male's. However,
because some individuals have
intermediate sizes and shapes
depending on their age, it is extremely
difficult to tell the different sexes apart
based on their tracks.

Hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius)
This is an interesting animal with an
equally interesting track. Each foot has
four toes (clearly visible in the picture),
with broad nails on each toe. The four
toes are webbed in order to assist with
swimming, although this is not clearly
delineated in the track.

Steenbok (Raphicerus campestris)

Since this is a small animal, the tracks

it leaves are small with sharp points. As

the animal ages, however, these points

become worn, because before the

animal defecates or urinates, the

steenbok clears a spot, and then covers

up its faeces afterwards by scraping

soil over it with its front hooves. Thus, in

older individuals, the front of the

fore-hooves will all be more worn away

than those of the hind-hooves are.

Impala (Aepyceros melampus melampus)
The front of the spoor is pointed while
the back is rounded. With these
gregarious animals, obtaining single
spoor is relatively difficult. However,
males evicted from the breeding herds
tend to remain in smaller bachelor
herds, which makes it easier to obtain
their tracks. Their ``pronking`` behaviour
also causes wear to the front of the
hooves but not as badly as that of the
steenbok.

Nyala (Tragelaphus angasii)

The forefeet of the males are relatively

broader than the female's. The adult

male tracks are also a lot larger than

the female's. The tracks are also a lot

more rounded than that of the impala,

with a blunter front to the hooves.

Buffalo (Syncarus caffer)

The hind foot of the buffalo is much

more rounded than the front foot, which

has a more pointed front. It can be seen

that the picture here is that of a front

foot. When walking, it lifts one leg at a

time, while the other three feet remain

on the ground. The hind-foot is,

therefore, always placed behind the

forefoot, so that the spoor is almost

super-imposed when the animal walks.

The dew claws aren't seen except when

the animal stands in deep mud which

allows the hoof to sink further than

normal and the dew claw becomes

imprinted into the mud.

Blue Wildebeest (Connochaetes taurinus)

The tracks are more rounded than that

of a kudu and there is a larger gap

between the two hooves. The front is

pointed with the rear slightly more

rounded.

Giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis)

This is the largest and longest of all

cloven-hoofed tracks. When the giraffe

walks, the two legs on one side swing

more or less in unison; thus the tracks

from the front and back almost overlap

each other. The track is pretty broad

with a blunt front to it. The tracks of the

males are quite a lot bigger than those

of the female.

Waterbuck (Kobus ellipsiprymnus)
Waterbuck tracks are similar to those
of blue wildebeest, but a lot broader in
the rear part of the hooves. They are
also more blunt in the front. The spoor
in the picture is not all that clear, but it
does give the basic detail and shape of
the spoor.

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