Tag archives for Poop
Some tiny snails in Japan can survive a trip through a bird’s digestive tract. When graduate student Shinchiro Wada and his colleagues at Tohoku University fed the Tornatellides boeningi snails to captive white-eye birds and brown-eared bulbuls birds, they noticed that about 15% of the snails passed through the birds and were pooped out alive! How do the snails survive? Wada isn’t sure. The snails are very small, which may help keep their shells from cracking. Wada says that the snails have the ability to seal off their shells with a mucus film, which may help keep the birds’ digestive fluids out.
Photograph courtesy Shinichiro Wada
The correct answer is microbe poop! Scientists thought that the colorful deposits (like the ones in the picture above) found in lava tubes were minerals, but as it turns out, they’re really droppings from microbes living in the tubes.
Gross? Maybe, but the deposits can also be beautiful, according to scientists. Some examples are “a lovely blue-green ooze dripping out of the [cave] ceiling in Hawaii; a vein of what looks like a gold, crunchy mineral in New Mexico; and, in the Azores, amazing pink hexagons,” said Diana Northup, a geomicrobiologist at the University of New Mexico.
Find out more about the mats of microbe poop and how they might provide clues to life on Mars on National Geographic News.
Speaking of evidence, read about a birdnapper that got busted with poop on his shoes in another News Bite.
Photograph courtesy Guy Caniaux
Sony Dong was arrested in March for trying to smuggle songbirds into the United States. He got caught when a Los Angeles International Airport inspector noticed feathers peeking out from the bottom of his pants and bird poop on his shiny black shoes. More than a dozen birds were strapped to his legs with buttoned cloth wrappings.
Exotic songbirds from Asia can earn high prices in the United States. The rescued birds might end up in a zoo.
Photograph by AP/Department of Justice
Read more about the bird smuggling case on National Geographic News.
The oldest human hairs ever found were discovered in an unusual place–hyena poop! Researchers found the rock-hard dung in a cave in South Africa. They used tweezers to extract 40 fossilized hairs resembling glass needles from one of the hyena coprolites, or fossil turd.
Read the whole story on National Geographic News.
Get the scoop on spotted hyenas in the Creature Feature.