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Naturalist Notebook 

July 29, 2011

Who Pooped?

Use this one
Replica Scat Photo: N. Sincero 2011, Scat Wrangler: S. Sumrall

This scat may include berry seeds, bits of roots and tubers, and even fur, hair and bones. It can vary in color from brown to black. It is generally sweet smelling. You might find it in the northwest of North America, in a high forest or an alpine tundra meadow.

Who pooped?

Leave a comment below with your guess. If no one gets it right, we will reveal the answer in one week.

If you have your own natural history mystery (an unidentified animal, plant or other specimen), send a photo or two to naturalist@calacademy.org. We’ll do our best to help out. Please include location, date and any other details that seem pertinent.

Scats and Tracks of the Pacific Coast, including British Columbia: A Field Guide to the Signs of 70 Wildlife Species / James C. Halfpenny; illustrated by Todd Telander. Helena, Mont.: Falcon, c1999. Naturalist Center Reference QL768 .H36 1999
The Encyclopedia of Mammals / edited by David Macdonald. New York: Facts on File, c1984. Naturalist Center Reference QL703 .E53 1984

Filed under: Who Pooped — nature @ 9:13 am


  1. Black Bear? Or any kind of bear?

    Comment by Douglas — July 29, 2011 @ 10:43 am

  2. I am going to guess a black bear.

    Comment by Fanci Sue Gentry-Morales — July 29, 2011 @ 11:09 am

  3. some kind of mountain goat?

    Comment by Geraldine — July 29, 2011 @ 11:11 am

  4. Black Bear

    Comment by Craig — July 29, 2011 @ 11:12 am

  5. Black Bear! (Probably not big enough to be from a Grizzly/brown bear, but that would be my second guess!)

    Comment by Jasmine — July 29, 2011 @ 11:17 am

  6. Grizzly bear? Gotta be some kind of omnivore…

    Comment by Sue — July 29, 2011 @ 11:17 am

  7. black bear scat

    Comment by Eli and Kai — July 29, 2011 @ 11:53 am

  8. Do you mean you want the name of the black bear that dropped this load? Okay, Yogi.

    Comment by John P. O'Grady — July 29, 2011 @ 12:58 pm

  9. It could be a bear.

    Comment by Anna — July 29, 2011 @ 1:43 pm

  10. Wolverine

    Comment by Stephen Ervin — July 29, 2011 @ 2:25 pm

  11. Black Bear?

    Comment by Ree — July 29, 2011 @ 2:45 pm

  12. Horse

    Comment by Diana — July 29, 2011 @ 4:37 pm

  13. BEAR.

    Comment by Anna — July 29, 2011 @ 6:27 pm

  14. I think Grizzly Bear for this one.

    Comment by Rochelle Germano — July 30, 2011 @ 8:59 am

  15. im with anna…Gulo gulo?

    Comment by stephan — July 30, 2011 @ 10:45 am

  16. I think its from a brown bear

    Comment by Bert — July 31, 2011 @ 9:51 am

  17. Great guesses everyone! It is indeed a replica scat of Ursus arctos horribilis, the Grizzly Bear. So congratulations to all of you who guessed some sort of bear and particularly to Rochelle and Sue, who identified it right down to species level!
    We’ll have a new Who Pooped? game up on Friday, but in the meantime take a stab at guessing this week’s featured specimen.

    Comment by nature — August 2, 2011 @ 10:09 am

  18. Wait a minute — what’s the difference between a brown bear and a grizzly bear? A grizzly is a brown bear (as opposed to a black bear) isn’t it?

    Comment by Bert — August 2, 2011 @ 4:30 pm

  19. Great question, Bert! You’re right, the Grizzly Bear is actually a subspecies of brown bear; the British Columbia Conservation Foundation has a great bear fact page which talks about different types of brown bears here: http://www.bearaware.bc.ca/education/about-bears
    You’ve also made me realize I misspoke, Rochelle and Sue were able to identify the scat down to subspecies level.

    Comment by nature — August 5, 2011 @ 12:38 pm

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