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.

Jon Gruden: How confrontation with Derek Carr went down
The incident happened in the first half after a bad three-and-out where Carr called back-to-back timeouts, which is a penalty. Carr led the Raiders to a come-from-behind win, completing 19-of-31 passes for 192 yards and two touchdowns.

Argentine sub found partially ‘imploded’ after yearlong search
Ocean Infinity used five autonomous underwater vehicles to carry out the search, according to a statement from the company. The disappearance gripped the nation's attention as the government struggled to provide information about the tragedy.

Caravan migrants reach USA border Photogallery
Most of the migrants belong to El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, where they are suffering from poverty, violence and gang war. The city has however set up a shelter for the migrants in a sports complex, where more than 2,000 of them spent Thursday night.

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:

  • Vianney balance sur les dessous des NRJ Music Awards

    Les gens chantent vraiment mais derrière ce n'est que de la fausse musique. "Au début, je luttais mais je n'y suis pas arrivé". Il enchaîne en mentionnant la tension dans les coulisses: " Dans les loges, il y en a qui pétaient des câbles .
    Nununu et Céline Dion proposent des vêtements pour les petits

    Nununu et Céline Dion proposent des vêtements pour les petits

    Mais cette fois-ci, on la découvre en fée de l'égalité à l'occasion du lancement de sa ligne de vêtements pour enfants non gérés. Céline Dion a récemment pris position sur l'éducation neutre et non sexiste, un thème en vogue, qui suscite de nombreux débats.
    CAN 2019: Algérie, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinée et Mauritanie qualifiées

    CAN 2019: Algérie, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinée et Mauritanie qualifiées

    Du côté de Nouakchott, le héros se nomme Ismaël Diakité: l'attaquant de l'US Tataouine, en D1 tunisienne, a signé un doublé et renversé des Zèbres déjà éliminés.
  • Nissan demande le départ de Carlos Ghosn

    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

    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.
    Meghan Markle jouerait-elle la comédie avec le prince Harry?

    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.
  • Couple killed in fatal crash on wedding day

    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.
    Une partie de chasse filmée en Espagne indigne la toile (vidéo)

    Une partie de chasse filmée en Espagne indigne la toile (vidéo)

    Les images, très difficiles à supporter, montrent le cerf, ainsi qu'une dizaine de ces chiens, tomber tour à tour dans le ravin. Mais l'animal sauvage se débat avec vigueur, et repousse à de très nombreuses reprises ses assaillants.
    Renault Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn arrested over acts of misconduct

    Renault Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn arrested over acts of misconduct

    Mr Ghosn, a foreign top executive in Japan, has been credited in the past as having turned Nissan around from near bankruptcy. A spokesman for Nissan said the company would hold a press conference later this evening Tokyo time.
  • Jim Acosta is 'Kind of a Big Deal' or Something

    Jim Acosta is 'Kind of a Big Deal' or Something

    CNN responded with this statement on Sunday: " The White House is continuing to violate the First and 5th Amendments of the Constitution ".
    Volkswagen embarks on $50 billion electrification plan

    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

    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".


Populaire

Alexander Zverev charms crowd after beating Novak Djokovic
Zverev stopped mid-rally during a second-set tie-break when a ball boy in his eyeline dropped a ball with Federer leading 4-3. But, you know, at the end of the day, I said sorry to Roger at the net. "I hope I'll be able to do that tomorrow".

Divock Origi remplace Yannick Carrasco bloqué en Chine
En effet, l'ailier de 25 ans, qui évolue pour le Dalian Yifang, est bloqué en Chine en raison d'un problème de passeport. Car, s'il n'est pas à Tubize ce vendredi, il ne devrait pas disputer le match de ce dimanche contre la Suisse.

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).

Malcolm Jenkins flipped off Sean Payton
New Orleans enters the game as a 9-point favorite in most books, and we'll see if Payton can redeem himself with a victory on the field come Sunday.

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.

Derek Carr, Jon Gruden argue on Raiders sideline
The Raiders broke a five-game losing streak with a last-second field goal Sunday against the Cardinals, but it wasn't smooth sailing for Oakland during the game.

Fox’s Chris Wallace tells President Trump ‘We’re in Solidarity’ with CNN, NYT
Even sometimes they'll say 'sources say.' There is no source, in many cases - in many cases there is". During the stop, Pence spoke on veterans' issues and also met with service members and veterans.

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.

La RPDC annonce l'expulsion prochaine d'un citoyen américain
Une courte dépêche de KCNA annonce que la Corée du Nord a décidé de l'expulser, mais ne précise pas pourquoi ni quand. Il n'y a pas Américain connu des détenus toujours détenus par l'état rigide à l'heure actuelle.

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.