Finally in 3-D: A Dinosaur’s All-Purpose Orifice

This cloaca is more than 100 million years old, and it did a lot of work for this extinct species.

#anatomy-and-physiology, #anus, #crocodiles, #current-biology-journal, #dinosaurs, #feces, #fossils, #paleontology, #reproduction-biological, #research

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Menaced by Murder Hornets, Bees Decorate Their Hives With Poop

Asian honeybees have exhibited what scientists call a form of tool use to deter attacks by giant predatory wasps.

#animal-behavior, #bees, #biology-and-biochemistry, #feces, #hornets-insects, #insects, #invasive-species, #manure, #mattila-heather-rose, #public-library-of-science-plos, #research, #vietnam, #wasps-insects, #wellesley-college, #your-feed-animals, #your-feed-science

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Why Are Pandas Covering Themselves With Horse Manure?

Researchers in China spent a decade studying this question.

#animal-behavior, #animals, #biology-and-biochemistry, #china, #feces, #horses, #manure, #pandas, #proceedings-of-the-national-academy-of-sciences, #research, #your-feed-animals, #your-feed-science

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Watching What We Flush Could Help Keep a Pandemic Under Control

The failure to control the coronavirus pandemic has been a failure of real-time health data. Sewage surveillance could help fill in those gaps.

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #disease-rates, #feces, #research, #sewers-and-sewage

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Cave’s Clues Show It’s More Than Just Oldest Outhouse in the Americas

Preserved dung in Oregon’s Paisley Caves is helping to fill in some mysteries about some of the earliest people on our continent.

#caves-and-caverns, #clovis-nm, #feces, #native-americans, #north-america, #oregon, #research, #science-advances-journal, #your-feed-science

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Flushing the Toilet May Fling Coronavirus Aerosols All Over

A new study shows how turbulence from a toilet bowl can create a large plume that is potentially infectious to a bathroom’s next visitor.

#bathrooms-and-toilets, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #coronavirus-reopenings, #coronavirus-risks-and-safety-concerns, #feces, #hygiene-and-cleanliness, #physics-of-fluids-journal, #research, #wang-ji-xiang, #your-feed-health, #your-feed-science

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Archaeologists now have a handy new tool for analyzing paleo poop

Ancient poo samples: H35 (Ash pit number 35) coprolites from Xiaosungang archaeological site, Anhui Province, China.

Enlarge / Ancient poo samples: H35 (Ash pit number 35) coprolites from Xiaosungang archaeological site, Anhui Province, China. (credit: Jada Ko, courtesy of the Anhui Provincial Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology)

Combing through samples of ancient feces probably isn’t going to be many people’s idea of a roaring good time. However, for archaeologists keen on learning more about the health and diet of past populations—as well as how certain parasites evolved, the evolutionary history of the microbiome—such samples can be a veritable goldmine of information.

Yet it can be difficult to determine whether fecal samples are human or were produced by other animals, particularly dogs. Now an international team of scientists has devised a new method of doing so that combines host DNA and gut microbiome analysis with open source machine-learning software, according to a new paper in the journal PeerJ.

The challenge of determining whether paleofeces and coprolites are of human or animal origin dates back to the 1970s. Usually, only those samples found with human skeletons or mummies could be designated as being of human origin with any certainty. Exceptions could be made for samples found in ancient latrines, since they are highly likely to be human; samples found in trash deposits, however, are more ambiguous. 

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#anthropology, #archaeology, #bioinformatics, #feces, #machine-learning, #science, #ye-olde-poop

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