Wombat poop: Scientists have finally discovered why it’s cubed

19 Novembre, 2018, 19:07 | Auteur: Therese Cote

Wombats, the chubby and beloved, short-legged marsupials native to Australia, are central to a biological mystery in the animal kingdom: How do they produce cube-shaped poop?

By inflating the intestine with a long balloon, the researchers found that the wombats' intestine walls stretch unevenly, allowing for the formation of the cube shapes.

Why the pudgy marsupials might benefit from six-faced faeces is generally agreed upon: wombats mark their territorial borders with fragrant piles of poo and the larger the piles the better.

The higher and more prominently placed the pile of feces, the more visually distinctive it is to attract other wombats to smell and engage in communication. Currently, wombats are the only known species capable of producing cubes organically.

Just like a cake maker squeezing out icing with a piping bag, wombat bums appear to be built for the tricky job of squeezing out cubes, researchers found.

They studied the digestive tracts of wombats that had been euthanized following motor vehicle collisions in Tasmania, Australia.

Near the end of the intestine, scientists observed that there are feces that transform liquidlike states to solid states made up of small, separated cubes.

This last section is stiff in different places (the stiff regions form flat faces while the stretcher parts form corners) which deforms the faeces.

This distorts their faeces into 2cm (0.8 inch)-wide cubes.

Yang hopes that the group's research on wombats will contribute to current understandings of soft tissue transportation, or how the gut moves.

RTL ne trébuche pas avec les Diables — Nations League
Et en cas de victoire finale en juin, le parcours des Diables aurait pu rapporter jusqu'à 6 millions de plus, au total. Pourtant, la bande à Eden Hazard s'est faite surprendre par une équipe suisse conquérante (5-2).

Trump Makes Epic Blunder While Visiting California Fire Site
It's of much less use on the forest floor, where infernos burn through swaths of brush and other heavy fuels that only heavy machinery can clear.

Meghan Markle jouerait-elle la comédie avec le prince Harry?
Mais pendant que certains prennent la défense de la duchesse de Sussex, d'autres se posent des questions sur sa sincérité. Une photo craquante largement commentée dans les journaux et sur les réseaux sociaux.

Every evening a wombat will drop 80 to 100 dry, cube-like droppings around its territory in prominent places like next to burrows or on logs.

Lead study author Patricia Yang, a postdoctoral fellow at the Georgia Institute of Technology, investigated if differences in wombats' soft tissue structures may have an impact on the shape of their poo.

'The first thing that drove me to this is that I have never seen anything this weird in biology.

To gain new insights into the mystery, they studied the digestive tracts of common wombats that had been put to sleep after being struck by cars and trucks on roads in Tasmania.

Researchers believe these stiff and stretchy areas may only be visible when the intestine is inflated.

A wombat's food travels through its system at a very slow pace, typically 14 to 18 days.

"We now have only two methods to manufacture cubes: We mould it, or we cut it". Now we have this third method, ' Dr Yang said. "It would be a cool method to apply to the manufacturing process", she said.

Dr Yang and her colleagues will present their findings at the American Physical Society's Division of Fluid Dynamics 71st Annual Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia, this week.

Associate Professor Stephen Johnston said the females would bite males on their rumps, often tearing off clumps of fur, as a come-on.

Conseillé:



Populaire

Couple killed in fatal crash on wedding day
Kearney's aunt Mary Kay Heinle also paid tribute to the couple on Facebook , writing: 'Our lives changed tragically last Thursday. Kathyrn Schurtz, 35, and Joseph Kearney, also 35, were killed in the accident. 'Our memories will help carry us through.

Editor's Take | RBI’s crucial board meeting: Will the rift end?
The PCA has imposed lending and other restrictions on these weaker lenders, hitting the MSMEs and NBFCs hard. Reports claim the government wants the central bank to part with a third of its reserves.

Peanut allergy could be beaten by building up tolerance, study finds
The PALISADE study was funded by Aimmune Therapeutics, manufacturers of the peanut protein used during the trial. Her allergy was very severe so even a small amount of peanut could lead to a very serious reaction.

Volkswagen embarks on $50 billion electrification plan
Around 436,000 industrial jobs in Germany are tied to building gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles. VW has promised to guarantee jobs at both sites until 2028.

Holly Willoughby catches the sun after I'm A Celebrity debut
I'm A Celebrity has welcomed its stars into the Australian jungle and among the famous faces is actress Emily Atack. Hours later she posted a snap of herself, on Instagram, with her head propped up on a towel and wrote: "Vitamin D".

Nissan demande le départ de Carlos Ghosn
A 16,6 milliards d'euros, la capitalisation boursière du groupe est désormais inférieure celle de son concurrent Peugeot-Citroën. Selon la chaîne de télévision NHK, une perquisition avait lieu au siège de Nissan.

Deepika Padukone-Ranveer Singh's Griha Pravesh: This Is How Bhavnanis Welcomed Mastani
The other two wedding receptions will be held in Mumbai on November 28, 2018, and December 1, 2018, respectively. Ranveer's family welcomed Deepika with an aarti and played a few customary games, too.

Paragon and Airfox Face the Ire of SEC in Recent Clampdown
These are the Commission's first cases imposing civil penalties exclusively for ICO securities offering registration violations. Securities and Exchanges Commission ( SEC ) ordered the company ( Airfox ) along with Paragon to refund all of their investors.

Theresa May: A Conservative leadership contest threatens Brexit
Politically, talk of a Conservative party leadership challenge, a general election and even a possible second referendum is rife. But despite no longer having a seat in Westminster, Hilton told the Sunday Times he is convinced he is the best man for the job.

Facebook : Mark Zuckerberg oblige ses salariés à utiliser des smartphones Android
Le réseau social a rompu le 13 novembre le contrat qui le liait à Definers, une société réputée proche des Républicains.