Popular Science

All mammals poop in 12 seconds and there’s an equation for the ‘duration of diarrheal defecation’

Welcome to Poopular Science

Elephant butt

Be thankful for all the elephant pooping pictures that didn't make it as the feature image

Ken Kistler

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

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from Popular Science

Popular Science4 min read
Wildfire Smoke Is Terrible For You: Here's What To Do About It
Where there's fire, there's smoke. Depositphotos Editor’s note: The federal government recently declared a public health emergency in California due to wildfires. One major threat is smoke, which is causing unhealthy air levels across a wide area, in
Popular Science7 min read
What Star Wars Taught Scientists About Sperm
When Charles Reilly and Donald Ingber set out to make their short film—In the Beginning, an homage of sorts to Star Wars that (spoilers) tells the tale of a single sperm’s triumph in a literal life or death race to fertilize an egg—they had just one
Popular Science4 min read
The 12 Most Important Health Innovations Of The Year
This article is a segment of 2017's Best of What's New list. For the complete tabulation of the year's most transformative products and discoveries, head right this way. Lessening breast-reconstruction pain. Airxpanders When a woman undergoes breast