Footprints in snow explained

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LAST week our photographer came back from snow-covered Gayfield with the above picture of a strange footprint, a number of which were to be seen in the football park.

We asked if any reader knew what had made them, and first on the ‘phone was Mary Spink, St Andrew’s Crescent, who was also keen to know what had made the prints, as she and her neighbours had found exactly the same thing in their gardens!

And on Monday we had a visit from Tom Harris-Ward, of Tayside Ground Control, who knew exactly what the prints were.

They had been made by rabbits, running fast rather than going hippity-hoppity. They put their front paws down together, hence the single mark which, on close observation, has areas round the edge where the double paw has gone in and then out.

And the double marks are made by the rear paws, as they grip for power.

Tom said he had seen these marks many times in the course of his job of wildlife management and pest control.

And of course it requires a certain depth of snow to get the prints exactly as shown in the picture.