Posts Tagged ‘poop’

by , Keeper
I started out as a volunteer in February 2013 and became a full fledged keeper in October 2013. I love birds, mainly raptors. When I'm not working I like to read and play tennis. I have two dogs and two cats.
I work Tuesday through Saturday mostly out in Explore the Wild. You might be able to see me at the Meet the Keeper program at 2:00pm or training the Lemurs!

Mimi loves Peanut Butter

July 20th, 2014

Jessi and I go into the bear yard once a week (typically on Tuesdays) to scoop poop, scoop up any uneaten food and pick up old enrichment. Once we are done with that we scatter all their food for the day and we try to add an extra treat. A few weeks ago, we took in several jars of peanut butter and smeared it all over rocks, trees and anything else we could. I decided to smear some on the top of one of the dead falls. Mimi accepted my challenge and climbed up on it to get her delicious treat!

Checking out what I put up there.

Checking out what I put up there.

Enjoying some peanut butter!

Enjoying some peanut butter!

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by , Keeper
I graduated from NCSU(go pack) and have worked in the animal department for about 8 years. Some of my favorites include ferrets and birds. I am also known for my weird obsession with Boba Fett.
I work Tuesday-Saturday in either the Farmyard or inside the main building behind the scenes.
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Who did that come from?

June 5th, 2013

In my last blog I told you guys I was going to focus on poop. I try not to break my promises.

So can anyone identify this lovely specimen?

Remember, this is not restricted to the farmyard so there are a lot of possibilities.

I would also like to add that I found this poop sitting up straight and I was impressed.

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  1. Director Comment :

    I’d like a reference point please please- like a ruler or a quarter next to the pile of poo.

    Posted by Sherry Samuels
  2. If you give me a hundred dollar bill for scale I could use that.

    Posted by Jill
  3. Pig poop!

    Posted by Erin
  4. Does the white ridged background provide a clue or is just a shovel?

    Posted by dj
  5. I cant tell you then it could give it away.
    The answer is coming soon

    Posted by Jill

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by , Keeper
I graduated from NCSU(go pack) and have worked in the animal department for about 8 years. Some of my favorites include ferrets and birds. I am also known for my weird obsession with Boba Fett.
I work Tuesday-Saturday in either the Farmyard or inside the main building behind the scenes.
Tags: , , ,

p00p

May 6th, 2013

“Ewwwwwwww!”

That is one of the most popular words I hear being shouted by children as they watch one of the farmyard animals defecate. But, hey…. we all “do” it. There is that popular book entitled Everyone Poops (that just so happens to be sold in our gift shop) that explains how everyone and everything capable can and will poop.

Poop, can actually be an animal keepers best friend. Now, I don’t go to the movies with a scoop of Scout scat. I just mean that we keepers can tell A LOT about an animal just by looking at its poop.What its eating, if its dehydrated,if they have worms are just some of the benefits of getting close to poo!

In the near future I will be posting some more about poop and will be posting some pics for you guys to identify what animal it came out of!

Don’t get too excited.

 

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  1. I can hardly wait!!!

    Posted by Michele

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by , Keeper
Although a native tarheel, I came to the museum from Texas, where I taught Biology courses at a small college. In graduate school I studied the behavior and ecology of marine organisms (mostly crabs, lobsters and sea turtles).
You can find me in the Animal Department Monday-Thursday. Fridays I work for the Department of Innovation and Learning all day.

Big Word of the Month: Fimicolous

July 12th, 2010

My wife Sandy, also a lover of big science words, passed along this month’s feature. Fimicolous is an adjective formed from Latin roots that mean “to inhabit dung” and is used to describe organisms that live in, on, and with animal waste. As animal keepers we spend a lot of time dealing with poop and you might be amazed at all the living things that utilize poop.

dung beetle

Two dung beetles battle for ownership of a dung ball

Perhaps most famous are the dung beetles, a group of scarab beetles that use animal waste as a food source and a brooding chamber for larva. We frequently find dung beetles in the Farmyard in piles of poop produced by Max the steer. Keeper Kent loves to radio the butterfly house staff to tell them to come pick up new beetles for their collection! The actions of dung beetles help break up piles of waste and speeds their decomposition into nutrients.

The folks at NC State’s Cooperative Extension Service produced this great diagram(click on it to enlarge) that shows how different types of dung beetles use a cow patty. I especially liked that they included a “crust” layer, it shows a true understanding of poop! In column I on the left you see burrowers living under the poop. In column II another species makes shallow burrows. Column III on the right side shows a “rolling” species that takes a ball of dung and rolls it away to use it elsewhere.

Cow patty as habitat for dung beetles.

Another big fan of animal poop is a group of insects commonly called blow flies (or bottle flies). The adults in this group mostly feed on nectar and pollen but there eggs are usually laid in animal waste or on rotting dead animals. The larva hatch from the eggs and develop while utilizing the dung or dead tissue as a food source

Just the other day I was surprised to see a honey bees feeding on a particularly tasty pile of bear poop. Our bears eat a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables and some of that food makes it through the bear without being fully digested. Although, it seems gross to us, uneaten food is not usually left behind in nature and many species have evolved to take advantage of this food source.

Bon appetit!

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  1. Director Comment :

    What a great word Larry!

    I often find earthworms in bear poop when we scoop it up from the exhibit.

    Posted by Sherry Samuels
  2. Keeper Comment :

    Makes me think of the coffee that comes from beans that have made their way through a civet’s digestive tract. It’s supposed to be the most expensive coffee in the world! ha!

    Posted by Kristen Pormann
  3. I could spend hours watching dung beetles roll away their balls of cow pie!

    Posted by Ranger Greg
  4. Keeper Comment :

    Ranger Greg, that does not surprise me. Have you seen the movie Microcosmos? It has a great dung beetle sequence.

    Posted by Larry Boles
  5. The Big Word of the Month is Fimicolous and I think it is really a Big word to even read, this information is really good one for reading and it has interesting things to read also.

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by , Keeper
Although a native tarheel, I came to the museum from Texas, where I taught Biology courses at a small college. In graduate school I studied the behavior and ecology of marine organisms (mostly crabs, lobsters and sea turtles).
You can find me in the Animal Department Monday-Thursday. Fridays I work for the Department of Innovation and Learning all day.

Watermelon

July 20th, 2009

We have been dealing with a lot of watermelons in the animal department lately. They are truly multipurpose berries. They are great food for bears and a great way to welcome back a coworker from vacation.

Sherry and I noticed some evidence of watermelon consumption in the bear house the other day.

The bears obviously coordinated their defecations in order to teach us a lesson about how plant pigments are processed in the digestive tract.

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by , Keeper
Although a native tarheel, I came to the museum from Texas, where I taught Biology courses at a small college. In graduate school I studied the behavior and ecology of marine organisms (mostly crabs, lobsters and sea turtles).
You can find me in the Animal Department Monday-Thursday. Fridays I work for the Department of Innovation and Learning all day.

Summer breeze, makes me feel fine . . .

August 28th, 2008

Those who know me know that I’m not a big believer in signs and omens. However, I was greeted with this site on a recent morning upon entering the yard of Max the Steer. I thought maybe this was a warning about something bad, but in reality it never hit the fan and the day was uneventful.

If you are not sure what you are looking at, this is the fence around the steer/goat yard and the large cooling fan that sits just outside the area. Max the Steer managed to make a deposit on the railing of the fence which is about 4 feet high while aiming into a stiff breeze. I try not anthropomorphize but it is hard not to read something into the action. I prefer to think of it as a prank not a more ominous message.

Join the conversation:

  1. it’s a good thing he was having a more “formed” day…and not a runny one.

    Posted by Katy
  2. Ha! The “S” almost “HTF”! Priceless!

    Posted by viridari
  3. By the way, I should mention, I run a Flickr group for images taken at the NC MLS and would love to see some of your favorite pictures posted there, too.http://flickr.com/groups/ncmls

    Posted by viridari

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