Science Fun

How To Cast An Animal Track

In this fun, quick, and easy science experiment you will learn how to cast an animal track. On your quest to become an animal detective, you will learn how to use a few easily available and inexpensive materials to to make casts of animal tracks to keep, enjoy, and show to your friends. Future biologists, veterinarians, and any adventurer that loves the outdoors will enjoy learning how to cast an animal track. 

 

Materials:

  • Two liter plastic soda bottle
  • Scissors
  • Plaster of Paris

  • Newspaper

 

Instructions:

  1. Cut the top and bottom off of the two liter soda bottom.

  2. Next, cut the remaining soda bottle into two inch wide sections. You will end up with several rings.

  3. Locate a distinctive animal track that you want to keep.

  4. Clear away any debris like leaves, rocks, and sticks while being sure not to disturb the animal track. 

  5. Take one of your plastic rings and place it around the track making sure the track is in the center of the circle.

  6. Push the ring about ½ inch into the ground.

  7. Mix the Plaster of Paris according to the package directions.

  8. Pour the plaster into the plastic ring.

  9. Allow to set for one hour.

  10. Dig around the plastic ring and then work your way under the plaster cast.

  11. Once you think you can safely lift the cast, do so gently and place it in several sheets of newspaper.

  12. Carefully and securely wrap the cast in newspaper.

  13. Let the cast sit for several days before cleaning it up and observing the animal track you have captured.

 

WHAT THE QUICK VIDEO TUTORIAL

 

How it Works:

When you pour the Plaster of Paris into the animal track, it hardens and creates a perfect cast of the animal track. You can even paint the cast of the animal track once it has hardened. 

 

Make This A Science Project:

Identify an area that has high levels of animal traffic. Use your knowledge of casting animal tracks to capture casts and bring them home to study and identify the types of animals visiting the area under investigation. Do the types of animals visiting the area change at different times of the year? Do conditions such as more or less water change the type or volume of animals visiting the site? 

 

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