Everything poops!

Often, biologists identify animals by their sign. This can be the characteristic scratches some species leave on trees, a unique nest, or some other artifact. Often this artifact is poop. It is no big secret, that when it comes to animals, everything poops. Today, as I was processing dung beetles from some samples from 2011, I came across something I have never had the opportunity to see before – dung beetle poop – specifically Onthophagus taurus poop. This is a poop made by animal that eats poop, or poop squared.

2014-01-01 10.00.40The specimen in question must have defecated when it hit the antifreeze that I use in the pitfall trap and then the poop remained excreted, but attached, through the alcohol storage and subsequent pinning before microscope examination for specific determination. Needless to say, this is a most auspicious start to a new year that I hope will be filled with exciting discoveries!

I hope that 2014 is filled with interesting and wonderful discoveries for all of you also – HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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4 thoughts on “Everything poops!

  1. George Sims

    GREAT. Still amassing cold-weather clothing. My cotton-shorts-and-hoodie wardrobe from Louisiana/Missouri wasn’t doing the job. Buying THICK woolen pants (from some Eastern European army, from the labels) at the church thrift store for 79 cents a pop, and have a -20 degree sleeping bag on order. Learning the ins-and-outs of “layering”, but find myself generally comfortable down to 0F. MINUS fifteen was a bit of a challenge, though.

    Been spending two hours a day at the gym, trying to get in shape for walking in the mountains, and to cheat death for one more day, and have completed three wimpy local hikes (only 600′ elevation change, and six miles or less in length). Finished Microbiology at the community college, and will take two biology courses and college algebra this semester (they seemed to think that my Spring 1969 algebra class could stand “refreshing”. Just finished a MOOC on dinosaurs, and will be heading to the dinosaur museum/site in Thermopolis next weekend for a look around. No bugs, but life is good. Plan to try to catch some ants for James Trager when the weather warms up, and continue to study ode diversity here during the SHORT dragonfly season. Come see us. Started a “non-bug” blog at http://www.ggsims.wordpress.com to chronicle our new experiences.

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