Posts Tagged "poop"

Wombats Poop and Other Things You Don’t Know

Dear Kid,

Today’s Word of the Day is wombat because why not?

Wombats, the common, the southern hairy-nosed, and the northern hairy-nosed, live in Australia with their marsupial cousins (quick—name two marsupials).

Dang cute wombat. DearKidLoveMom.comIn addition to being dang cute, wombats are endangered. The northern hairy nosed wombat (isn’t that just the cutest name ever?) is one of the most endangered animals on the planet.

Wombats have terrible vision. They are nocturnal, live underground, and are mostly solitary, which means there’s not much to see. Which may be why wombat optometry never really caught on.

Wombats are reasonably big—they can weigh up to 88 pounds (maybe there’s a rule that says they can’t go to 89?).

If absolutely necessary (and by “absolutely necessary” I mean “Seriously Absolutely”) wombats can run. Very, very fast. Faster than all but the fastest humans. (And by “fastest human” I mean a toddler trying to avoid naptime.) Specifically, wombats can run up to 25 miles per hour which is pretty speedy (Usain Bolt has been clocked at 28 mph but he didn’t keep it up very far).

Running might be fun for some humans (present author not included) but as far as wombats go, sleeping, eating, and pooping (we’ll get back to the pooping) are much more fun. Which makes wombats equivalent to college students on the weekend.

They can also jump. None have been recruited to the NBA because they have terrible ball handling skills.

Wombats have tough backsides (and, yes, by “backside” I mean buttocks). To defend itself, a wombat will leap (with all the grace of a nearly blind, 88 pound sack of potatoes) into a burrow and block the entrance with its tushy.

If you’ve ever studied Australian wildlife, you’ll know that there is an abundance of predators with lots of sharp teeth and toes and whatnot, and you’ve got to be pretty darn tough of tush to expose your backside to all that predator-ness.

Back to the poop, which may be the most interesting thing about wombats (never thought I’d say that, did you?).

Wombats poop cubes. Not because they have tough backsides. And not because they have play-doh-like square sphincters.

Wombats have perhaps the driest poop on the planet. Their digestive process takes 14-18 days which allows most of the nutrients and water to be absorbed (this is good for the wombat). The highly dry poop and lack of rectal muscle contraction mean (you guessed it) cube-y poopy.

Like many other animals, wombats leave poop lying around for a variety of reasons. Poop explains a lot about who the poop-leaver is. If you are well-versed in these things (and wombats are) you can write a thesis about the poop-leaver’s gender, health, age, recent dietary changes, and feelings about reality TV. You can also tell that there is a wombat around and perhaps you ought to leave the territory and build your own warren elsewhere.

Wombats like to be left alone. And poop is an excellent way to say “get thee gone.”

Wombats like to put their poop out like billboards. And they like their poopbillboards to be highly visible (emphasis on high). So they put their poopy pellets on top of rocks or logs (or billboards if they happen to find one). The cube shape keeps the poop from rolling off its perch.

Aren’t you glad today’s word of the day is wombat?

Love, Mom

Koalas and Kangaroos are both marsupials, proving that being a marsupial increases your cuteness factor by 1000%. Which leads to the following beauty tip: If you’re not cute enough, grow a pouch.

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Shrimp (Part II), Douglas Adams, and Global Warming

Dear Kid,

Several days ago, I wrote about important facts of shrimp life that you may not have heretofore been aware of. If you missed that post a) shame on you and b) you can click on the word “shrimp” in the previous sentence and get all caught up.

Shrimp Part ii -- What you don't know (but probably should ) about shrimp. DearKidLoveMom.comAstute Reader (I have always wanted to write that) David (not one of the Davids you know or are related to) asked many questions highlighting my lack of journalistic thoroughness. Since I never claimed to have a shred of journalistic thoroughness, that didn’t bother me in the least, but he did raise some interesting questions which I am now prepared (I snarfed some shrimp dip and caffeine free diet coke in preparation) to answer.

What do shrimp eat?

Many shrimp eat plankton and drink seawater. Swankier shrimp enjoy cocktails, while vegetarian shrimp eat shrimp salads.

What happens to the shrimp that get sent off to backboning school?

Shrimp get sent off to learn to get a backbone at a young age. Unfortunately (as I previously mentioned), they never develop any. You would think this would make it easier to learn handsprings, but you’d be wrong what with them not having hands.

Since shrimp parents want their offspring to learn to stand up for themselves, teen shrimp often decide to rebel and walk around on multiple legs, scavenging the ocean floor. The interesting angle (known as the shrimp-angler among those fishing for answers) is that this is what they are genetically programmed to do so the rebels and non-rebels look and act exactly alike. This causes parent shrimp to smirk because they got what they wanted all along—oxymorons.

What about the instructors at the schools?

Shrimp teachers (also known as shrimp heads) run strict schools. Classes include eating, pooping, and antennae waving. Advanced classes including learning how to be happy while being eaten by people and/or marine mammals, because as Douglas Adams proved (extra points if you get the reference) everyone’s happier if the dish of the day is happy.

What about Global Warming?

Turns out the shrimp are in mostly in favor of global warming, what with ice being the key ingredient in shrimp cocktails. One small shrimp, named Gusto, attempted to rally the shrimp to fight global warming (he was a radical in a fairly conservative family, but they loved him nonetheless). While Gusto’s family may have loved him, no one else cared much, partly because shrimp are rather single minded (“Oh, look, breakfast!”) and partly because Gusto had a rather small voice even for a shrimp. While he crusaded with much, er, gusto, Gusto was never heard except by a sweet pinepod named Gertie who ate him before she realized what he was talking about.

Now you know.

Love, Mom

Douglas Adams wrote The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (which is what I was referring to). There are two other books in the trilogy—I love the way that man’s mind works.

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Save the Rhino Day – Facts You Don’t Know | Happy May Day Too

Dear Kid,

It’s May Day! And in honor of the first day of the month, we have Julie Andrews (love!) singing The Lusty Month of May. Extra points if you know that it’s from Camelot (since you’re in the middle of finals, I thought I’d spare you the brain power of having to remember).

It is also Save the Rhino Day. And since rhinoceroses are having a hard time of things, having a day to encourage them is the least we can do. The very least.

There are five species of Rhinos: Black Rhino (2,400 left in the world), White Rhino (7.500 left in the world), Sumatran Rhino (400 left in the world), Javan Rhino (less than 100 left in the world), and Indian Rhino (Latin name: Rhinoceros unicornis. Over 2,000 left in the world). For the record, white rhinos aren’t white, black rhinos aren’t black, and Indian rhinos aren’t magical.

Only a rhino needs a rhino horn. Save the rhinoceroses. DearKidLoveMom.comThe African species (the white and black rhinos) have two horns as does the Asian Sumatran rhino. The Indian and Javan each have one horn. No matter how many horns they have, someone wants it/them, making rhinos super endangered.

The rhinos themselves don’t exactly help matters a lot, seeing as how they are solitary critters who prefer staying home and needle pointing to going out to the local watering hole to catch up on the news. Rhinos fight over just about anything: territories, use of the family car, you name it. This is undoubtedly why a group of rhinos is called a crash (seriously). They also fight during courtship, having refused to take lessons from Eddie’s father (ancient TV show reference. Don’t sweat it. Just smile and nod like you appreciate the wink to US culture in a rhino post).

The word rhinoceros is a combination of two greek words: rhino (nose) and ceros (horn). This is unfortunate, because it is much more fun to say rhino-SAUR-us and pretend they are closely related to dino-SAUR-us-es.

Rhinos do not make good house pets. White rhinos can weigh more than 5,000 pounds. And if you thought zebras produced a lot of dung…well, let’s just say shoveling rhino poop is not for the weak of heart or the weak of arm.

Happy May Day. Happy Save a Rhino Day. Happy Today.

Love, Mom


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