Look familiar?

How do Lisa and Richard know which animals made these prints? What is similar about how they identify dinosaurs from their footprints?

Lisa looks down at some tracks in the mud.

Richard: Probably the little black bear. The difference between black bear and grizzly bear tracks is, and well these are old so it’d be tough to tell anyways, but the black bear while it kind of looks like that

Richard looks down at the track and points it out with his hiking pole.

Richard: —you don’t see any claw marks—but with the grizzly you always see claw marks or almost always see claw marks right out in front of the digital pads.

A clear impression of a black bear paw in the mud. The toe tips are rounded.

Two grizzly bear tracks in dry mud.  The toe tips are pointed.

Richard: Okay, so we have some deer tracks here. Little tiny ungulates. That’s a small deer and then this could be elk maybe but not very… Very old [tracks].

Richard looks down at the muddy river bank and points out hoof impressions.