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Wombats sh*ttin brix in the tail . . .

This is a kind of followup to an item from a few months ago.

Most of our posts are on six-month lag, but this one is just too important not to share immediately. Paul Alper sent it to us:

How wombats produce their cube-shape poo has long been a biological puzzle but now an international study has provided the answer to this unusual natural phenomenon. . . .

Dr Scott Carver, wildlife ecologist at the University of Tasmania and one of the authors of the research paper, said “there were wonderfully colourful hypotheses around but no one had tested it”. . . .

The project originated four years ago when Carver was dissecting a euthanised wombat hit by a car and noticed the cubes in the last metre of the wombat’s intestine. Carver described it as an “isn’t that odd moment”.

“The thing that is striking, how do you produce cubes inside essentially a soft tube?” . . .

The team discovered big changes in the thickness of muscles inside the intestine, varying between two stiffer regions and two more flexible regions. “The rhythmical contractions help form the sharp corners of the cubes,” Carver said. . . .

Vogelnest aided the research by facilitating an ethically approved CT scan of a live wombat, zoo resident Lucy-Lu. . . .

6 Comments

  1. Dzhaughn says:

    How the internet has enriched our lives! 40 years ago, who would have even thought to wonder?

  2. Ron Kenett says:

    Next is to study the Wombles. They are known to live in Wimbledon common https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wimbledon_Common and pose much more complex challenges. They are helping the environment stay clean and therefore this could even get funded.

  3. Wombat Fan says:

    The study also revealed other nuggets of insight – for example, experiments showed that cubic poops didn’t roll down hill as much as spherical poops.
    I have to hope that some graduate student was wondering what their life has come to when they were doing these experiments.

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