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Old 05-05-2017, 10:19 AM   #1
Trail Boss
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Unidentifed Ball of Leaping Gray Fur.

While sitting on the summit of Whiteface yesterday (Thursday, May 4), a small animal emerged from under the observation deck, scurried across an open area to a pile of rocks and proceeded to leap from one to another before disappearing out of view.

In the few short seconds I had to observe it, I noticed the following:
  1. It was gray. I didn't notice any contrasting colors.
  2. It seemed at least as big as a chipmunk but much smaller than a gray squirrel.
  3. Its hairy tail was about a quarter the length of its body (no longer than a third). The tail-hair was flattened (horizontally).
  4. When jumping from one boulder to another, it leaped into the air with its front limbs outstretched.

It's the fourth trait, the leaping, that both fascinated and amused me. You could imagine hearing a sound like "BOING!" each time it comically leaped into the air, limbs outstretched like it was sky diving. It didn't just drop from one rock to another, it sprang up into an arc.

I've consulted the following information and voles, shrews, and mice don't fit the description because they all have hairless tails. The Woodland Jumping Mouse has the jumping trait but is disqualified by its long hairless tail.

Adirondack Mammals

Mouse, Mole or Vole? Learning Your Adirondack Small Mammals

The Woodland Jumping Mouse

I'm stumped. Does anyone have any idea what kind of animal I may have seen?


PS
The single photo I took is unusable for identifying the animal.
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Last edited by Trail Boss; 05-05-2017 at 12:06 PM.. Reason: Typo. More details.
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