Have you ever followed animal tracks? Let's make a cast of the prints.
What You Need
- Animal track molds (from Nature Watch catalog)
- Plaster of Paris: 2 cups warm water, 3 cups flour (or plaster mix), plastic bags
- Animal track hand stamps/ink
What You Do
- How do you know that an animal has been in a certain place (tracks, fur, scat, smell, etc.)? Look for tracks!
- Examine specific features (pads, claws, tails, etc) in tracks.
- Explain how scientists can make molds of the tracks in order to study them better, and we’re going to make molds too.
- Make Plaster of Paris by combining water and flour in a plastic bag. Mix it until smooth and firm.
- Pour the plaster into the molds. Scratch your name in the back.
- Watch out for dragons!
What Do You Think?
- How are dragon feet like dinosaur feet?
- What other animal tracks did you see?
- Draw a picture in your journal of what the animal looks like.
Tracking is a technique that scientists and hunters use to find and follow animals. Most people think of following the footprints of an animal, but there are other ways to track
animals. For example, you can examine their “scat” or “droppings,” look for scratches in the bark of trees or ground, or look for their dens.
Adapted from the Centaurs, Trolls, & Fairies program from Utah 4-H.