YouTube: https://youtube.com/watch?v=YTU2u_AuZ38
Previous: Whizpops! Dolphin Disco Music Video - #readalong
Next: Make Your Own Recycled Bird Feeders - #sciencegoals

Categories

Statistics

View count:301,114
Likes:466
Dislikes:30
Comments:198
Duration:04:38
Uploaded:2016-05-24
Last sync:2018-05-04 10:30
Poop: it's gross... it's funny... it's educational?! Join Jessi and learn all about how you can observe poop in your neighborhood to figure out what kinds of animals live near you! Just don't touch it!
----------
Like SciShow? Want to help support us, and also get things to put on your walls, cover your torso and hold your liquids? Check out our awesome products over at DFTBA Records: http://dftba.com/SciShow

Or help support us by becoming our patron on Patreon:
https://www.patreon.com/scishow
----------
Looking for SciShow elsewhere on the internet?
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/scishow
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/scishow
Tumblr: http://scishow.tumblr.com
Instagram: http://instagram.com/thescishow

SOURCES:
http://www.biokids.umich.edu/guides/tracks_and_sign/leavebehind/scat/
http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2007/09/26/2044094.htm
http://mentalfloss.com/article/64275/where-do-insects-poop
(Intro)

Hey guys! Squeaks and I just got back from walking in the woods, and we both found some interesting things. I found a feather and this neat antler from a deer. Squeaks, what did you find? *squeaking* Oh, interesting. They're round like seeds, small like pebbles, and they look like little balls of dirt, but they're not seeds, pebbles, or dirt. These are little pieces of poop. *squeaking* Do you think that's funny Squeaks? Well, sometimes the word poop makes people laugh, but I think poop is really interesting and it's something that all animals do.

Insects, reptiles, amphibians, birds, and mammals: they all poop, and when an animal leaves poop behind scientists call it scat. Scientists, like biologists, study many clues to learn about the animals that live in certain areas, and scat is a great clue. It can tell a lot about an animal, like what they ate, where they spend most of their time, if they're sick, and most importantly, it tells what kind of animal it is.

Different kinds of animals leave different kinds of scat, and scat comes in many shapes and sizes. That's why scientists need to know what kind of scat belongs to which animal. So they can understand what kinds of animals are in the area, and what they're doing.

The shape and size of mammal scat will tell you the most about who left it behind. Deer poop is a common one to find. It's found on the ground and it looks like lots of brown ovals in a pile. Rabbit poop is another common one. It's smaller than deer poop, and forms perfectly round balls. You'll find it bunched up in small piles. Not all scat is round though. Coyote and raccoon poop is longer, and there's usually only a few pieces.

Sometimes scat is super tiny, like insect poop. Yes, ladybugs, ants, and bees leave behind poop, too, and their scat is really small. It's so small that it can be hard to find if it's on the dirt. So, the best place to look for insect scat is on the leaves of trees.

And other kinds of scat look very different from that of mammals and insects. Bird droppings are made of a mixture of poop and a white substance called uric acid. That's because birds pee and poop at the same time. So, that's what you'll find in their scat. So, if you find a little pile or splat of scat that has some brown and white in it, it's probably from a bird.

However, it might also have been left behind by a reptile, like a snake. To figure out who left this scat behind, you'll need to look for other clues too. You'll often find bird scat under a tree branch, since birds sometimes perch in trees, but not always. Snakes like to hide under logs, so if you find a brown and white scat near or under a log, it's probably from a snake. 

Now that you know a bit about the different kinds of scat, let's play a guessing game that I like to call name that poop. Alright Squeaks, lets take a look at your sample first, and see if we can figure out what kind of animal left it behind. Hmm, there are a lot of them in a pile, their brown and oval shaped. Can you guess who they belong to? If you guessed deer, you're right! And, that's neat, because I found a deer antler near the same place. Nice job finding that sample, Squeaks, now you should probably go wash your hands. 

Let's try another one. This one was found on a leaf, and it's really small. Do you know what kind of animal this belongs to? An insect? I agree. I wonder what kind of insect left this behind. I bet if we looked for more clues we could find out. Maybe it was near an ant hill or under a bee hive.

Okay, let's try one more. This one was found on a sidewalk under a tree, and it looks like it has some white stuff in it. What do you think? A bird? You're right! Because it has some white in it, and it was under a tree branch, this scat most likely belongs to a bird. If you find a lot of bird droppings under a tree, it might mean that the bird have a nest in the tree, or that they found something good to eat up there.

So, scat can tell you a lot of important information about the animals that live in your area. It can tell you what kinds of animals are around, and also what they might be doing. If you're taking a walk outside, and see some interesting poop, leave it be, but you can take a picture of it. Then you can try to figure out what animal it belongs to, and you'll know who's living in your neighborhood.

Thanks for joining us, and remember, if you have a question for any of us here at the fort, let us know by leaving a comment or emailing us at the kids@thescishow.com, and we'll see you next time.