5 min read

9 Quirky Animals With Very Special Ways Of Pooping

<p> <em>Credit: </em><a href="https://www.thedodo.com/whale-poop-how-oceanic-excreme-621453064.html"><em>Tony Wu</em></a><span></span> </p>

Humans, as a rule, are not fans of poop. But these nine animals show that the rest of the critters on this planet doesn't always equate dung with disgust.

1. Rabbits

To a rabbit, simply because it comes out of the trunk doesn't mean it's junk. Rabbits excrete little grape-like bunches called cecotropes. As grapes are to humans, a cecotrope is to the rabbit - at once tasty and full of nutrients.

2. Sperm whales

Sperm whales deploy clouds of feces in an explosive defense. Whale poop also cycles nutrients through the ocean, as these iron-rich clouds feed the phytoplankton living near the water's surface.

3. Face mites

Everybody poops, except for the Demodex mites who live on your face. (They're found on something like 25 percent to 100 percent of the human population, depending on age. But don't worry - these teensy arthropods rarely cause problems.) Considering these parasites don't have anuses, they've cut the crap completely, simply storing waste in their bodies until they die.

4. Orb-web spider

These orb-web spiders decorate their webs to look like bird droppings. By hiding among these faux feces, the spiders avoid hungry wasps, say a group of Taiwanese spider scientists.

5. Vultures

When vultures need to chill, they poop on their legs. The principle, though gross to us, is the same behind our sweat - as liquid evaporates, it sucks away heat, leaving behind cooler skin.

6. Rhinos

To a rhino, a poo pile is an odoriferous message board, used to share notes with anyone in the vicinity. A wild white rhino will spend up to a minute sniffing the dung of a stranger, and he'll mark the edges of his domain in stinking heaps.

7. Caterpillars

Caterpillars shoot frass - digested plant matter the size of a granola flake - from their rear ends. By building up blood pressure beneath what National Geographic calls an "anal 'launching pad,'" these fecal bits rocket away up to 40 times the length of the caterpillars' bodies. By dispersing the waste matter in this way, the bugs attract fewer carnivorous ants, Georgetown University researchers say.

8. Parrot fish

Those white, sandy Hawaiian beaches? Partially made of poop from parrot fish who chew up and excrete coral.

9. Dung beetles

If humans had a polar opposite, at least when it comes to the way we treat poop, it would be the dung beetle. Not only do these insects have "dung" in their name, but their lives revolve around rolling, burrowing or munching on other animals' feces. These guys are no scat slouches - a dung beetle can tug up to 1,100 times his weight in poo, notes the Guardian.

Want to see how you stack up to some strange animal poopers? Take the pooping doppelganger quiz!