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....crap, defecation, discharge, dung, excrement, excretion, fecal matter, feces, stool.

I was reminded of this lately by a gentleman called Jeremy, who was trying to ID some, let us call it, scat.

Actually, Scat's meaning is the excrement of an animal, so the most technically accurate term.

There is quite a bit of it about, and the best two ways to ascertain from which animal it came are:

1. Its size and shape. Is it rod-shaped? then its probably one of the larger mammals like a Macaque, mongoose, or - most unlikely, a pangolin.


Are there many pellets? If there are lots and lots, then its probably a boar or the little barking deer. These also tend to be more olive or dark green coloured, reflecting their diet. bats have small irregular pellets, as do mice and rats.

most people are probably looking at pellets made either by the East Asian Porcupine, which are small irregular tubes or ovals, can be a little bit curved...or even form chains.

or, the Masked palm civet, which are more rod shaped pellets.

2. Its contents.

Well, most scat is best ascertained by looking at its contents.....!

ie if lots of ants, then a pangolin! or the crab eating mongoose poop will have the remains of crustaceans. Civet's scat has lots of seeds - and also it does not smell, so get your nose close. (this is why we can have that coffee that passes through the digestive system of a civet, (but please do not buy or drink this, as unfortunately what they do not tell you is this coffee is made by keeping large quantities of these poor creatures in abysmal conditions in small wire cages, where they are force fed and farmed for their pooped beans).

A porcupine poop will be more dense with vegetable matter.

Leopard cat scat is typically pointed, small rod shaped, with hairs or feathers in it. And owl pellets - are more similar to this.

i hope this helps on your next sighting...and do get close to explore the diet of our fellow wild creatures.

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