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Whose Nuts are These?

Photo: G. Bradley

UK Safari Tip:
You can discover more about the tracks and signs left by mammals with this special identification chart - click here

You can get a good clue about the kind of animals living in your area by just checking their nuts... or at least the nut shells they've left behind.

If you look closely at the way the nut shell has been broken into you can get a good idea of the kind of animal which did the breaking.

The dormouse makes a neat round hole in the nut. The edge of the hole is worn completely smooth and there are usually teeth marks on the shell surface around the opening.

Dormouse Nuts - Photo  Copyright 2004 Gary Bradley

Bank Voles
These nuts have no teeth marks around the edge of the hole, but the opening is deeply ridged or corrugated. Wood mice make a similar opening but they also leave teeth marks around the edge of the hole.

Bank Vole Nuts - Photo  Copyright 2004 Gary Bradley

Grey Squirrels
Squirrels have much stronger jaws and teeth than our small mammals and are able to crack the nut in one bite. Some birds, like jays, are also able to open nuts this way.

Grey Squirrel Nuts - Photo  Copyright 2004 Gary Bradley

Track Down More Info

UK Safari Mammal Section

Click for more infoMammals of Britain and Europe
This book details every species of mammal in Europe and in the seas around it.

  2006 G. Bradley. All Rights Reserved