The Month in Poo – June 2020

Florida Lizard’s Extreme Constipation Renders It Mostly Poo

In what can only be compared to the infamous “Florida Man” meme, a particularly chunky northern curly-tailed lizard was spotted on the site of a pizza shop in the state made famous for outrageous and bizarre “newsworthy” acts.

While it appeared at first poke around the chubby body that it might be a pregnant lady lizard, U of Florida herpetologist Natalie Claunch had second thoughts when it felt “like it was full of Silly Putty” (or maybe miso paste?).

Live lizard vs disected.
Image by (Claunch et al., Herpetological Review, 2020)

Turns out that this lizard had some Guinness World Record-level constipation, with the poo accounting for a third of the entire body volume, and 80% of it’s body weight. I guess that’s what living beside a beach-side pizza shop can do to you. Consider yourself warned.

Penguin Poop Gets Antarctica Researchers High (on science)

Research scientists on the sub-antarctic island of South Georgia got more than they bargained for when studying how animals colonise on ground opened up after glacial retreat.

Penguin poop (guano) is typically made from a diet of fish and other marine life, and that tends to be high in nitrogen. These droppings mix with bacteria in and on the ground to create high levels of nitrous oxide… laughing gas.

Penguin poop melting the snow in antarctica
Penguin colony causting snow melt with poop in Antarctica. Photo courtesy Dustin Main

Scientist Bo Elberling says that there was enough gas that one fellow researcher went “completely cuckoo” after working in the field for several hours.

Ford Makes Artificial Feces to Better Poo-Proof Their Paint

While not all of us have been pooped on by a bird ourselves, many of us have had to clean droppings off of our vehicles. You may also know that it’s important to get it washed off quickly as it contains uric acid, and that can cause damage to your lovely paint job.

So Ford Motor Company has their paint engineers create artificial bird poop to drop it on their cars and test that their coatings are up to the challenge of deflecting the acid from doing damage.

You can learn (?) more in this weird video they made.

Do you have a favorite bit of poo-related news that has come across your feed? Let us know in the comments below.

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