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Naturalist Notebook 

August 19, 2011

Who Pooped?

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

This scat is very large! It contains a lot of fibrous materials, from things like grasses and trees. You might find it in the African savanna or jungle.

Who pooped?

Leave a comment below with your guess. We will reveal the answer on Tuesday, August 23rd.

This month we have a special display on Africa which includes books and specimens, including the one featured above. Don’t worry, it is safely enclosed in a display box. Come visit us in The Naturalist Center on the third floor here at the California Academy of Sciences if you’d like to see it in person.

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 @ 9:12 am


  1. Based on size, shape, content and consistency, Im going to have to guess the obvious and say African Elephant (Lexodonta africana)

    Comment by Adam — August 19, 2011 @ 10:32 am

  2. Looks like an elephant’s poop to me!

    Comment by Dimitri Ponirakis — August 19, 2011 @ 10:32 am

  3. Sorry. Misspelled. Loxodonta africana

    Comment by Adam — August 19, 2011 @ 10:33 am

  4. Loxodonta africana

    Comment by Adam — August 19, 2011 @ 10:35 am

  5. WOMBAT!

    Comment by Melissa Garden — August 19, 2011 @ 10:37 am

  6. I’ll say zebra.

    Comment by Amy — August 19, 2011 @ 10:41 am

  7. Rhino!

    Comment by Monet — August 19, 2011 @ 10:44 am

  8. Looks like an elephant dropping to me.

    Comment by Pam F. — August 19, 2011 @ 10:46 am

  9. I’m going to go with a rhinoceros. They are herbivores and reside both in the savannah and jungle.

    Comment by Brenda Scott — August 19, 2011 @ 10:46 am

  10. Rhino?!?

    Comment by Vickie — August 19, 2011 @ 10:50 am

  11. Rhino!

    Comment by Karen S. — August 19, 2011 @ 10:51 am

  12. I believe that would be Elephant Poop.

    Comment by Cathy Fanzone — August 19, 2011 @ 10:51 am

  13. An Elephant Dung!!

    Comment by Dorus — August 19, 2011 @ 10:53 am

  14. elephant

    Comment by Theresa — August 19, 2011 @ 10:54 am

  15. Giraffe?

    Comment by Xander — August 19, 2011 @ 11:03 am

  16. giraff

    Comment by Ben — August 19, 2011 @ 12:06 pm

  17. Whatever it is, it looks painful.

    Comment by Lessie — August 19, 2011 @ 1:17 pm

  18. I also think it’s elephant poop – and why is this game so fun?!

    Comment by Pam — August 19, 2011 @ 4:33 pm

  19. Thanks for playing our game! It’s fun for us too!
    Wonderful guesses again this week. Congratulations to Pam, Theresa, Dorus, Cathy Fanzone, Pam F., and especially to Adam, who replied with the correct genus and species. It is the scat of Loxodonta africana, the African bush elephant. BBC Nature has a great page on them here, with audio of their trumpeting and streaming videos.
    We’ll have another poop post on Friday, but in the meantime, can you tell us what specimen we’ve got our spotlight on?

    Comment by nature — August 23, 2011 @ 9:16 am

  20. Even though it looks like an elephant did it, I believe it came from a rhinocerous.

    Comment by James Morgan — September 1, 2011 @ 11:42 am

  21. Hi James! It was an elephant. If you’re ever out in the wild, this page from the San Diego Zoo says that the “difference between rhino and elephant dung is that rhinos usually scrape the dung pile with its back feet, flinging it away, and leaving two parallel grooves emanating from the pile. Elephant dung is left in undisturbed piles. Rhino dung contains small, short twigs, whereas elephant dung contains longer, twisted pieces of woody fiber”
    We know an elephant did it because the donor told us, and he’s one of our researchers so we trust him!

    Comment by nature — September 3, 2011 @ 6:39 pm

  22. its not rino poo it has the marks and has short small twigs

    Comment by me — October 2, 2011 @ 1:58 pm

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