Scientists Now Know Why Wombat Poop Comes Out In Cubes
Wombats, which are native to Australia, are known across the globe for their cuteness and their unique poop, which comes out in cubes. The geometric fecal phenomenon has long been a mystery — until now.
A team of scientists finally cracked the science behind wombat poo, and published their findings in the aptly named Soft Matter journal last month.
According to the paper, called “Intestines of non-uniform stiffness mold the corners of wombat feces,” researchers from Georgia Institute of Technology, the University of Tasmania and the Taronga Conservation Society dissected dead wombats that had died after being hit by vehicles, and noticed that the guts of the creatures contained layers of muscle and tissue, with two stiff areas and two more flexible ones.
After creating a mathematical model to emulate how this gut might expand and contract during food digestion, the researchers determined that after feces are dried out in the extremely long wombat colon (roughly 10 meters, or 33 feet, in length), the stiff and flexible regions contract in tandem, sculpting the poop into its unique shape.
More at link.
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