My own experience has been soil condition changes.
I would think that if it was a muddy or a soft powdery soil, if backtracking, the prints would be smudged, as I think it would be really hard to walk backwards and match you track perfectly. And visibly they would be different then the previous tracks.
And the act of jumping in of itself IMO would leave a disturbance at the point of liftoff that would be visibly different from the other tracks. Also telling you which way it had jumped.
Then, the point of landing of something that large should leave some sort of trace as well, unless the terrain is different.
Could also be like the Bonobo. Simply dragging something behind them to cover the tracks, last one in the line will do that.
I think if you find tracks in the first place, then they were not concerned about leaving them, otherwise there would not have been any to find. Maybe something spooked it, so it suddenly felt the need to hide it's tracks.
Then again - if it just moved off the trail where the tracks stop - and simply moves along on the sides of the foot - probably would notice the new tracks - they would be out of the stride line and different in appearance, and one might not notice the new "track".
But - all just my opinion. You always get what you pay for it...LOL
Posted on May 24, 2009, 8:13 PM from IP address 126.96.36.199