Popular Science

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

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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

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