Why is a wombat’s poop cube-shaped?

| John Anderson | History



Of all the mysteries surrounding the wombat —  a marsupial (pouched mammal) native to Tasmania and Australia — it’s hard to find one more confusing than its ability to make dice-shaped dung. As far as we know, the wombat is the only animal in the world with this ability.

So, Let’s start with the why — Wombats mark their territory in a pile of dung. The larger the stack, the clearer the mark, and its statement. With dice-shaped feces, Wombat has a better chance that its dung-pile will not roll away.

As for the how — without getting too much into the woods, surprisingly it has nothing to do with a specially designed square anus, but rather with a unique digestion process. As food moves through the gut, and pressure from the intestine helps sculpt the feces – meaning that the shape of the intestine will affect the shape of a dropping.

The good news is that engineers are now using these findings in ground-breaking production processes!