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Naturalist Notebook 

September 30, 2011

Who Pooped?

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

This scat can vary widely in color but is most often black. You might find scat from more than one individual in a pile. But you would not want to touch or even smell this scat, particularly because it may contain a deadly parasite.

Who pooped?

Leave a comment below with your guess. We will reveal the answer in the comments section on Tuesday, October 4th.

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 @ 7:33 am


  1. i think its racoon (procyon lotor)

    Comment by David Echevarria — September 30, 2011 @ 11:04 am

  2. I am guessing fox.

    Comment by Tim Beauchamp — September 30, 2011 @ 11:04 am

  3. Raccoon?

    Comment by Lori Terzi — September 30, 2011 @ 11:08 am

  4. I just noticed the dime, so I’m changing my guess. Rat.

    Comment by Lori Terzi — September 30, 2011 @ 11:10 am

  5. The answer is : Fox Scat.

    Comment by maria — September 30, 2011 @ 12:01 pm

  6. Deer mouse?

    Comment by Rochelle Germano — September 30, 2011 @ 12:29 pm

  7. I say wolf scat!

    Comment by tim hrimnak — September 30, 2011 @ 3:09 pm

  8. It looks like owl pellets to me.

    Comment by Christine Bourg — September 30, 2011 @ 9:09 pm

  9. The artist in me sees a Neanderthal face in profile in the upper right hand section of the scat.

    Comment by Christine Bourg — September 30, 2011 @ 9:17 pm

  10. wolverine or skunk

    Comment by Cassidy — September 30, 2011 @ 9:51 pm

  11. Badger or Bear

    Comment by Dillon — September 30, 2011 @ 9:53 pm

  12. Well done David (and Lori with your original answer)! This is the scat of Procyon lotor, otherwise known as a raccoon.
    Photo: Gerald and Buff Corsi © California Academy of Sciences
    We’ll have a new Who Pooped? up on Friday, but in the meantime can you guess what this specimen is?

    Comment by nature — October 4, 2011 @ 9:01 am

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