All mammals poop in 12 seconds -

- and there’s an equation for the ‘duration of diarrheal defecation’

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All mammals poop in 12 seconds -

#1  Postby Animavore » Apr 28, 2017 7:48 pm

An elephant’s rectum is about 10 times longer than a cat’s, yet they poop in the same amount of time. This conundrum may not have stumped you—or even occurred to you—but it vexed researchers at Georgia Tech. “How do animals defecate at a constant duration?,” they quite literally asked in their paper—which by the way was published in the journal Soft Matter. “To answer this question, we begin with measurements of feces.”

So let’s begin.

As with every good scientific endeavor, they started by defining their variables. Defecation begins, for example, at t=0, which they say is “when the tip of feces appears.” They provided four separate videos just in case you weren’t sure exactly when that is. And to avoid confusion between “steady state” pooping, which is what humans do, and animals like rabbits that produce little pellets they restricted their study to cylindrical feces. Repeat: you will not learn anything about the pelleted feces of a rabbit in this article.

“But what size were these feces?” you’re almost definitely not wondering. The length of one fecal piece is equal to the length of the rectum. Don’t ask how they got that second measurement.

It’s not just the size of the feces in the animal, though (nor is it the size of the animal in the feces). It’s about the mucus. Yes—the mucus. You thought this was just going to be gross because of the poop factor, didn’t you? Well, now there’s mucus.

Mucus is an integral part of a bowel movement. It has a certain thickness and viscosity, both of which these researchers quantified and both of which scale with the size of the animal. That’s right. A mouse has a tiny (some might even say adorable) layer of mucus inside their rectum and an elephant has—well, you can probably picture it. All that slimy goodness helps move a turd along the digestive tract and out, which requires significant pressure from your rectum. See, you may not realize this, but the diameter of your poop matches the diameter of your rectum, which implies that feces aren’t squeezed out like toothpaste from a tube but rather slide out “similar to a sled sliding down a chute.”

Some more bathroom reading here.
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Re: All mammals poop in 12 seconds -

#2  Postby laklak » Apr 28, 2017 7:52 pm

I've learned my New Thing for the day, I can have a beer now.

I'm taking a stopwatch into the loo next time.
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Re: All mammals poop in 12 seconds -

#3  Postby Animavore » Apr 28, 2017 7:56 pm

I learned a couple of things about poop recently. I also learned that dogs align themselves north to south when pooing. Which is why they do that little turning around thing before going.

Luckily my phone has apps for timing and orientation.
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Re: All mammals poop in 12 seconds -

#4  Postby monkeyboy » Apr 28, 2017 9:13 pm

Apparently I'm not a mammal. I've barely got settled down and found my place in my lav book or opened the newspaper if at work in 12 seconds.

Also depends what I've been munching on. Sometimes the main act can be over in much less time, others I could do with gas and air, a birthing coach and soothing music. Varying shift patterns, rotating on and off nights doesn't help and I remember reading somewhere that booze doesn't do me any favours poop wise though I suspect whoever came up with that one was talking out of their arse.
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Re: All mammals poop in 12 seconds -

#5  Postby Thommo » Apr 29, 2017 9:19 am

This sounds like a complete load of crap. :dunno:
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Re: All mammals poop in 12 seconds -

#6  Postby crank » Apr 29, 2017 11:58 am

This is not hard science!!! Soft Matter Journal, well no wonder. They get plenty of scathing reviews no doubt.
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Re: All mammals poop in 12 seconds -

#7  Postby Rachel Bronwyn » Apr 29, 2017 12:12 pm

Doctors don't actually ask you to fart after an appendectomy, do they?
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Re: All mammals poop in 12 seconds -

#8  Postby BlackBart » Apr 29, 2017 12:29 pm

...aaaand we're back on poop again.
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Re: All mammals poop in 12 seconds -

#9  Postby Mike_L » Apr 29, 2017 12:41 pm

BlackBart wrote:...aaaand we're back on poop again.

Christmas is early this year! :smile:
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Re: All mammals poop in 12 seconds -

#10  Postby Mazille » Apr 29, 2017 2:32 pm

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Re: All mammals poop in 12 seconds -

#11  Postby theropod » Apr 29, 2017 2:47 pm

I would really like to know if bats were included in this study. I suspect there would be a variance between species of bats that dine on such diverse foods as insects, fruit, fish and blood.

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Re: All mammals poop in 12 seconds -

#12  Postby Mazille » Apr 29, 2017 3:13 pm

9.4 seconds.

To be fair, that was my second session today, so it doesn't count as a full one, I don't think.
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Re: All mammals poop in 12 seconds -

#13  Postby monkeyboy » Apr 29, 2017 4:37 pm

I did a monster this morning that took over two minutes from the head engaging to the actual moab being delivered on target. Might have to up the fluid intake with the high fibre diet.
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Re: All mammals poop in 12 seconds -

#14  Postby Weaver » Apr 29, 2017 5:13 pm

Rachel Bronwyn wrote:Doctors don't actually ask you to fart after an appendectomy, do they?

Yes. It is a good indicator that bowel function has returned after the trauma of the surgery and anesthesia. Asking whether a PT has been able to pass gas helps decisions on whether laxatives are needed, etc.

Though it's usually the nurses asking whether farting has occurred, rather than the docs.

With other procedures, like colonoscopies, patients are instructed to fart vigorously to help clear the CO2 used to inflate the bowel to allow clear vision of the intestinal walls.


The recovery room in a colonoscopy clinic sounds like a scene from Blazing Saddles:
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Re: All mammals poop in 12 seconds -

#15  Postby Animavore » Apr 29, 2017 6:16 pm

Glad to see someone is taking this shit seriously.
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Re: All mammals poop in 12 seconds -

#16  Postby Rachel Bronwyn » Apr 29, 2017 7:06 pm

I understand asking patients if they've been farting since surgery but not telling them, "FART FOR ME. NOW!"
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Re: All mammals poop in 12 seconds -

#17  Postby monkeyboy » Apr 29, 2017 7:12 pm

I guess it's about following through on a procedure...... I'll collect my coat on the way out.
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Re: All mammals poop in 12 seconds -

#18  Postby Thommo » Apr 29, 2017 7:13 pm

That was a real stinker monkeyboy. :nono:
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Re: All mammals poop in 12 seconds -

#19  Postby Animavore » Apr 29, 2017 7:15 pm

I don't I could just fart on command. My mate, Beans, can.

Not sure why he has that nickname.
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Re: All mammals poop in 12 seconds -

#20  Postby Mike_L » Apr 29, 2017 7:17 pm

Weaver wrote:
Rachel Bronwyn wrote:Doctors don't actually ask you to fart after an appendectomy, do they?

Yes. It is a good indicator that bowel function has returned after the trauma of the surgery and anesthesia. Asking whether a PT has been able to pass gas helps decisions on whether laxatives are needed, etc.

Though it's usually the nurses asking whether farting has occurred, rather than the docs.

With other procedures, like colonoscopies, patients are instructed to fart vigorously to help clear the CO2 used to inflate the bowel to allow clear vision of the intestinal walls.


The recovery room in a colonoscopy clinic sounds like a scene from Blazing Saddles:


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