Exchanging Shit for Brains, Postmortem [research study]

Although they perhaps were not allowed to say it plainly in their published study, three scientists have identified a clear case of exchanging shit for brains. Details (with some euphemisms) are in the study: “Coprolites From Calvert Cliffs: Miocene Fecal Pellets and Burrowed Crocodilian Droppings from the Chesapeake Group of Maryland, U.S.A.“, Stephen J. Godfrey, […]

Daily Defecation Outputs of Mountain Gorillas

Output takes center stage in this new study of what some gorillas left behind: “Daily Defecation Outputs of Mountain Gorillas (Gorilla beringei beringei) in the Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda,” Elie Sinayitutse, David Modry, Jan Slapeta, Aisha Nyiramana, Antoine Mudakikwa, Richard Muvunyi, and Winnie Eckardt, Primates, epub 2020. (Thanks to Damien Caillaud for bringing this to […]

A better-rounded understanding of why wombat poo is cubic

Ian Sample reports, in The Guardian, a new discovery by Ig Nobel Prize winners, about wombat poo shape: Scientists unravel secret of cube-shaped wombat faeces Researchers investigate why excrement emerges in awkward-shaped blocks … “My curiosity got triggered when I realised that cubical feces exist,” said Patricia Yang pictured below], a postdoctoral fellow in mechanical engineering […]

Why Use Dinosaur Poop to Repair Sheep Bones?

Roy Bloebaum used fossilized dinosaur poop to repair sheep bones. The repair of bones can be an intricate undertaking. Dr. Bloebaum (and colleagues!) hoped to demonstrate how easy it can be to make iffy assumptions. They chose dinosaur feces fossil material to attract attention that could then be focused on certain intellectual aspects of bone […]

Earthy, tasty probiotic recipes

Probiotic starter cultures come in many different flavors. Here are two that qualify as Not-off-the-shelf. 1. “Characterization of Lactic Acid Bacteria Isolated from Infant Faeces as Potential Probiotic Starter Cultures for Fermented Sausages.” This study was honored with the 2014 Ig Nobel Prize for nutrition. 2. Vaginal bacteria as probiotic starter culture for yogurt. Janet Jay, […]

Bold experiments in human-sourced probiotics

Two recent, imaginative, slimy experiments are advancing our knowledge of how to use bacteria to make possibly-healthgiving foods. The newest is reported by Janet Jay, writing in Motherboard: How to Make Breakfast With Your Vagina … Cecilia Westbrook [pictured here] is a friend of mine, and an MD/PhD student at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. We […]

Alexander Semenov and Alexander Semenov, and their works

One Alexander Semenov makes beautiful photographs of worms deep in the ocean. The other Alexander Senenov invents spectacular devices, one of which is a method to use the waste products produced by the crew of a battle tank, stuffing those waste products into explosive shells that the tank fires at an enemy. See if you […]

Macroscopic Inspection of Ape Feces: Quantification How?

A look at how to take a gross look at the output of apes: “Macroscopic inspection of ape feces: What’s in a quantification method?” Caroline A. Phillips and William C. McGrew, American Journal of Primatology, epub 2014 Jan 30. (Thanks to investigator Gwinyai Masukume for bringing this to our attention.) The authors, at University of […]

Infant Poo Bacteria for Starter for Probiotic Sausages

This study adds texture to Part 2 of the old saying “If you like laws and sausages, you should never watch either one being made”: “Characterization of lactic acid bacteria isolated from infant faeces as potential probiotic starter cultures for fermented sausages,” Raquel Rubio, Anna Jofré [pictured here], Belén Martín, Teresa Aymerich, Margarita Garriga, Food […]

Improbable Research