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Naturalist Notebook 

August 12, 2011

Who Pooped?

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

This scat may be buried or have dirt scraped over it. It is generally firm with a few constrictions, but can be looser and drier depending on how dried out the scat-maker’s meal is. This scat can be found in western North America, Florida and South America.

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

Filed under: Who Pooped — nature @ 9:46 am


  1. Cougar, or Mountain Lion?

    Comment by Steve G — August 12, 2011 @ 2:30 pm

  2. A Coyote?

    Comment by Matt F. — August 12, 2011 @ 2:41 pm

  3. I think I am going to say panther

    Comment by Tim Beauchamp — August 12, 2011 @ 2:53 pm

  4. an earth worm

    Comment by Anna — August 12, 2011 @ 3:35 pm

  5. I agree with Steve G and Tim Beauchamp…I think it is a mounain lion

    Comment by Laurel Przybylski — August 12, 2011 @ 3:59 pm

  6. I’m going to veer away from the previous guesses and go with maybe a crocodile, specifically an American Crocodile. It might seem far-fetched but there is some logic to my guess! :D

    Comment by Daniel — August 12, 2011 @ 4:51 pm

  7. You mention the remaining range of a fline that used to range throughout the Americas. I believe the scat belongs to a Puma, Cougar, Catamount, or any one of the over 100 names given to this beautiful animal.

    Comment by Brad Hestir — August 12, 2011 @ 6:03 pm

  8. How about jaguar?

    Comment by Jeff — August 12, 2011 @ 6:10 pm

  9. Bobcat!

    Comment by Ilenna — August 12, 2011 @ 7:04 pm

  10. I was initially going to say cougar as well, but I’m used to seeing more hair in predator poop. So I’m a little stumped, unless it’s just because it’s replica scat, which I haven’t seen in the wild!

    Comment by Wendy — August 13, 2011 @ 11:06 am

  11. Fantastic guesses! Many of you were correct; it is in fact a replica of the scat of Puma concolor (also known as mountain lion, puma, panther, cougar and ghost walker, to name a few aliases). This animal’s scat may indeed contain hair, bones or even teeth! We’ll have a new Who Pooped? game up on Friday, but in the meantime can you figure out what specimen we’re spotlighting this week?

    Comment by nature — August 16, 2011 @ 11:00 am

  12. How about a capybara?

    Comment by Robin — August 16, 2011 @ 3:47 pm

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