scats: a post about poo

You mightn't see an animal, but you know it's been there because it's left its droppings, or pellets, or scats, for you to identify.


I found this on a garden chair, dried out. It was made by  a possum, I think. I was hoping it was a possum and not a rat. I found a website explaining the difference between a few scats. Rats produce narrow cylindrical pellets with one or both ends pointed. I'm relieved to notice that the ends of this poo are definitely rounded, not pointed.


The poo is this picture is larger and fresher.  I think this was also made by a possum, probably ringtail, taking a drink from the bird bath. It's the same shape as the one above. Ringtails eat fruit, flowers and leaves. You can see the seeds it's been eating.

Ringtail possums eat their own faecal pellets. That way they digest their food twice and make sure they get all the nutrients.

Comments

  1. efficient but a bit ick.
    Their version of a cow chewing the cud?

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  2. I've already had verbal comments like this post is ick. Poo denial I'm calling it.

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  3. Yes, I know that we have hedgehogs by the poo that we hardly ever see them.

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    Replies
    1. like calling cards, needing detective skills to read them!

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  4. Last year I had the same problem. I found strange droppings. I searched on the internet but still wasn't sure what animal they belonged to. So I stopped feeding the birds for a while. That helped.

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    1. Hi Denise, I don't usually see it as a problem, although if there's lots of rat droppings it's not very nice. I wonder what your strange droppings were from?

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  5. Interesting post.

    I've seen LOTS of scat this autumn in my Tennessee garden. Mostly deer poo (large piles of small pellets - look like this https://www.archery360.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/deer-pellets.jpg)

    Occasionally I find larger, smellier scat, often hard to identify, sometimes with bits of hair in it (can't tell if it's from something the animal ate, or just from grooming). Could be possum, raccoon or skunk. Hard (for me) to tell!

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    1. thanks for this Aaron, I'm so pleased you share my interest in this topic that many people find very unsavory. Deer, raccoons and skunks never come into my garden although deer are a problem in parts of Australia.

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  6. As a naturalist volunteer, I can't help but find this interesting. I'm always trying to figure out which wildlife is eating the branches of my shrubs or drinking the water from my heated birdbath, or traveling across the landscape and among the trees. These are fun mysteries to solve, and the clues (scat, prints, patterns, etc.) are everywhere. :)

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    Replies
    1. we see the clues more often than we see the critters, don't we?

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