When nature calls, wombats poop a masterpiece – ???? a pile of BM in the shape of cubes, the only animal known to do so And now, scientists can finally find out how wombats achieve this feat, according to a new study published online Thursday (Jan. 28) in the aptly named Soft Matter newspaper
Le wombat, a small marsupial tunnel that lives Down Under, has blocky poop due to the shape of his intestines, discovered the international team of researchers
Previously, some researchers had mistakenly proposed that the shape of the wombat's anal sphincter leads to distinctive animal feces, much like how Play-Doh can emerge in different forms when pushed through different extruders. Even unpublished research presented by the same team at the American Physical Society Division of Fluid Dynamics conference in 2018 did not quite identify the exact regions of the gut responsible for box dung, even though she won an Ig Nobel Prize in 2019.
But now, after studying the intestinal tissue of the wombat, examined a CT scan (computed tomography) of a living wombat with a naked nose (Schizophyllum) and exploited mathematical models, the team learned that the cubic geometry of poop probably comes from 17 last. % intestinal tract of the wombat The intestine of the wombat is long, about 10 meters (32 feet), is around 10 times the length of his body But four places – two more rigid and two more flexible than the rest of the gut due to changes in muscle thickness. are essential for forming cubic feces, the researchers discovered
These areas of varying muscle thickness are likely to help shape the sharp corners of the cubes when the bowel undergoes rhythmic contractions., said the researchers. “The wedges arise from faster contraction in stiff regions and relatively slower movement in the center of soft regions”, the researchers wrote in the study.
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Humidity, or its absence, also plays a role Unlike humans, whose digestive process takes one to two days, a wombat takes up to four times as long, which allows the marsupial to extract the maximum amount of nutrients. The wombat's intestines are also excellent for extracting water, which is why their poop is a third drier than humans. This drying process, which largely occurs in the latter part of the colon, known as the distal colon, probably helps the wombat keep his dice shit.
The idea for the study began when co-researcher Scott Carver, wildlife ecologist at the University of Tasmania, dissected a wombat corpse during a research project on the treatment of scabies, a skin disease caused by parasitic mites. We knew that”they place these droppings at important places in their home range, like around a rock or a log, to communicate with each other”, Carver said in a statement. But it was not clear how they made these cubic droppings
This mystery, now solved, could help scientists assess wombat health «Sometimes, excrement [captive wombat] are not as cubic as those [savages]», said study co-investigator David Hu, biomechanics researcher at the Georgia Institute of Technology. In other words, wombats with more square poop might have healthier guts
In addition, “these results may have applications in manufacturing, clinical pathology and digestive health”, wrote the researchers in the study.
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Wombats, feces, marsupials, wombat commun, research
News – FR – Why do wombats have cube-shaped poop?
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– Why do wombats have cube-shaped poop?