Serious Debates & News Debate and discussion about political, moral, philosophical, celebrity and news topics.

Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 19-11-2018, 02:56 PM   #1
bitontheslide's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 38,589

BB19: Sian

Default Wombat poop: Scientists reveal mystery behind cube-shaped droppings

Scientists say they have uncovered how and why wombats produce cube-shaped poo - the only known species to do so.

The Australian marsupial can pass up to 100 deposits of poop a night and they use the piles to mark territory. The shape helps it stop rolling away.

Despite having round anuses like other mammals, wombats do not produce round pellets, tubular coils or messy piles.

Researchers revealed on Sunday the varied elasticity of the intestines help to sculpt the poop into cubes.

"The first thing that drove me to this is that I have never seen anything this weird in biology. That was a mystery," Georgia Institute of Technology's Patricia Yang said.

After studying the digestive tracts of wombats put down after road accidents in Tasmania, a team led by Ms Yang presented its findings at the American Physical Society Division of Fluid Dynamics' annual meeting in Atlanta.

"We opened those intestines up like it was Christmas," said co-author David Hu, also from Georgia Tech, according to Science News.

The team compared the wombat intestines to pig intestines by inserting a balloon into the animals' digestive tracts to see how it stretched to fit the balloon.

In wombats, the faeces changed from a liquid-like state into a solid state in the last 25% of the intestines - but then in the final 8% a varied elasticity of the walls meant the poop would take shape as separated cubes.

This, the scientists explain, resulted in 2cm (0.8in) cube-shaped poops unique to wombats and the natural world.

The marsupial then stacks the cubes - the higher the better so as to communicate with and attract other wombats.

"We currently have only two methods to manufacture cubes: We mould it, or we cut it. Now we have this third method," Ms Yang said.

"It would be a cool method to apply to the manufacturing process," she suggested, "how to make a cube with soft tissue instead of just moulding it."


How very convenient
bitontheslide is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-11-2018, 03:10 PM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Bristol
Posts: 13,123


How very odd, I had no idea that wombats shat cubes , very interesting, you'd think forming cubes would be very uncomfortable to pass but they have obviously adapted.
hijaxers is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 19-11-2018, 03:21 PM   #3
Triumph of the Weird
Maru's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Houston, TX USA
Posts: 5,821

Favourites (more):
BB19: Anamelia
CBB22: Gabby Allen
BB17: Evelyn
CBB16: Natasha Hamilton

I was about to say... those hard corners... what a pain in the a**...

It sounds like it's sort of sculpted as it passes internally. That's kind of neat. We live in the kind of world that I think there are people absolutely who would pay serious $$$ to have their poop come out of in a unique shape of their choosing. It could be like their "signature". Everywhere they go.
Maru is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-11-2018, 03:43 PM   #4
Senior Member
parmnion's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: scotland
Posts: 39,163

BB18: Deborah
CBB18: Heavy D
BB17: Hughie
BB4: Cameron


Does this mean unicorns **** rubiks cubes?
parmnion is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-11-2018, 04:18 PM   #5
Senior Member
arista's Avatar
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 152,565

Those Cubes
could power a Home
with a special conversion unit.
arista is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-11-2018, 09:16 PM   #6
Senior Member
jaxie's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: UK
Posts: 7,038

CBB14: Gary
CBB 13: Ollie Locke

Just think, figuring out square **** is someone's paid working life.
In ancient times cats were worshipped as gods; they have not forgotten this.
Terry Pratchett

“I am thrilled to be alive at time when humanity is pushing against the limits of understanding. Even better, we may eventually discover that there are no limits.”
― Richard Dawkins
jaxie is offline   Reply With Quote

Bookmark/share this topic

cubeshaped, droppings, mystery, poop, reveal, scientists, wombat

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT. The time now is 10:15 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2023, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
no new posts