Written by Paul Clacher copyright 2004

The below information has been provided for those who require some assistance in the description and identifying of animal tracks, sounds and other traces. It can be very difficult at times to differentiate in particular between cat and dog prints. Hopefully the below information will be of some assistance.

Link to Big Cat Calls and Sounds

Some Common Foot Prints and Including a Thylacine

 

Cat
Dingo
Fox
Spotted Quoll
Wombat
Thylacine

 

BIG CATS -

Puma: - Many of the reported sightings of the "Puma" type cat, which I have received state that they are in Colour a sandy brown colour, Height ranging from about 70 to 80 centimetres in height at the shoulders. The Length is usually about 2.5 metres from tip of nose to tip of tail. The Tail, often witnesses state that these cats have a long tail with a slight kick up towards the end of the tail. Many say that the tail can be about 1.5 times the length of the cats torso. According to ARFRA (Australian Rare Fauna Research Association) these animals; Weight about 100 kilograms or more. The Head is often marked with black on the sides of the muzzle and backs of the ears with a whitish throat and neck. The Voice of the puma is interesting in that the puma cannot roar, it chirps, whistles, purrs, moans, screams, growls, and hisses. The puma Predation is carnivorous and it eats sheep and horses. It can Jump distances exceeding 45 feet with vertical jumps of 15 feet. It can be noted that in the above prints, that the central pad of the cat print is Bell shaped, where as in the dog print the central pad is Triangular and in fact the bottom line of the pad is slightly concaved in the dog print. The bottom line of the cat print is is convex. The Fox central pad print bottom line can look like a cat print, however the top of that central pad is also pointed like a dog and one major give away, naturally will be its size, being much smaller than a Big Cat print.

Panther: - Is actually a Black Leopard. I have also received many reportings of big black cats over the years, with similar descriptions of the above puma. Now the comparison between the Puma and the true Panther differ quite a bit and this is where I find it interesting. The Colour when black has a clear rosette-patterned coat and those rosettes can be seen clearly in the full sunlight. The belly also has blotches or spots under it. The Height ranges from about 50 to 75 centimetres in height at the shoulders. The Length is usually about 2.3 metres from tip of nose to tip of tail. The Tail, often witnesses state that these cats have a long tail with a slight curve towards the end of the tail. Many say that the tail can be about 1 metre in length. The Head is always reported as being jet black with a velvet sheen to it. One report said that the cat "was all black but had a brown slash from forehead to snout, notice that I say snout!" Remember that statement "SNOUT". VERY IMPORTANT. The head also has massive jaw muscles compared to the puma, which has a fine almost gracile face. The Voice is a deep sawing roar, similar to a jaguar. The panther Predation is carnivorous and it will eat anything from insects, sheep, cattle and horses and even carrion. A typical meal will look like the carcass below and that is also for the Puma. The panther will often take to trees and will often eat its prey up in the tree. Therefore traces of carcasses or wool or hides may be found in tree forks. The Panther is mostly nocturnal in its habit. The panther can live amongst humans without detection.

Thylacoleo?:- Many reports I have received neither fit the Puma nor the Panther description. I am often recounted and described a creature which has the Colour of a sandy or grey mottled and patchy fur, which is almost in tufts, but this is not always the case. The Height ranges from about 40 to 80 centimetres in height at the shoulders. The Length is usually between about 1.8 metres to 2.2 metres from the tip of nose to the tip of tail. The Tail, often witnesses state that it has "a long tail like a kangaroo which it seemed to use for balance or steering - (it didn't move about like a cats, it looked fairly rigid and slightly curved)". Many say that the tail can be about 1 metre in length. The Head one said "had the most hideous head I have ever seen, somewhat reminiscent of a hyena with that horrible silent ugly snarling face." Another report said that the cat "was all black but had a brown slash from forehead to snout, notice that I say snout!" Remember that statement "SNOUT". VERY IMPORTANT as was supported by Mr. Dennis WRIGHT in his report which stated that "I got within 20 metres and with a telescopic sight. I could tell straight away it wasn't, any kind of cat," Dennis recalled of the sighting which occurred about 15 years ago. "Colour It was jet black, with a very glossy coat. Up until I looked through the scope I was convinced I was stalking a panther. The body was exactly like a panther." It was with shock that Dennis discovered he wasn't spying on something strange. "Cats have a very square looking nose, a very distinctive nose. This didn't have that. This animal was as marsupial looking as a possum or a kangaroo," he said. "The nose was long, and It didn't have a block shape head like a cat. "It was so unusual. It just stunned me so much. This thing was something I had never, never seen in my life. So totally unusual." Another report stated that "My first thought was it looked like a quoll on steroids it was so big. It was uniformly dark in colour, about 80cms at the shoulder and about 1.5m from nose to tail. The head had the same sort of stub nose like a Tasmanian Devil (with the same sort of heavy jaws), and a long tail like a kangaroo which it seemed to use for balance or steering - (it didn't move about like a cats, it looked fairly rigid and slightly curved). The thing looked large and powerfully built, but it had a quite graceful (almost arrogant) stride to it.

The Voice is "Dennis WRIGHT says it sounds like a Tasmanian Devil (from http://www.dpiwe.tas.gov.au/inter.nsf/WebPages/BHAN-5358KH?open). Many others have compared the noise of the mystery animal to the haunting sounds of the Devil.". The thylacoleo Predation is carnivorous and could also be an eater of carrion as " However the smell in the air where the thing had been was pretty unspeakable - rotting flesh."

 

 

Last Modified 06/03/07