Why is manure important?

Why is manure important?

Manure is known as poo, poop, dung, droppings, scat, guano, frass, and many other words.

Manure gives zoologists a lot of information about the food that an animal eats, such as whether it eats insects, mammals, plants, and so on. It also tells zoologists whether an animal’s diet has changed over time.

For example, if a food source is limited due to flooding or deforestation or other reasons, what alternative food sources are animals in the region eating to survive? This can help zoologists determine whether an animal species is becoming endangered or extinct, or whether it is adapting to its environment.  

Manure helps zoologists measure stress hormones and sex hormones, as well as diseases.

Animals smell another animal’s manure to tell them whether friends or enemies are in the area. 

Many animals eat manure. It is thought that a baby elephant that eats its mother’s manure will gain healthy bacteria in its stomach. 

Manure is also good for the environment, because plants use its nutrients to assist their growth. Animals eat the plants, and so the cycle goes on and on.

Photographer: Martina Nicolls

Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM

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