Whose scat is that?

Scat is a word used for animal droppings, feces or poop, specifically for carnivorous wild animal droppings.

Feces for different creatures actually has different names:

  • Bats and seabirds: Guano
  • Caterpillars and other herbivorous insects: Frass
  • Cows: Tath
  • Deer: Fewmets
  • Otters: Spraints
  • Worms: Castings
  • Fossilized dung: Coprolite
  • Feces used as fertilizer: Manure

We sculpted scat for a new game in the lower level of the Dickinson County Nature Center. Can you match the scat to the predator?

Red fox or coyote?

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Red fox scat is rope-like, tapered and partly-segmented. It is 1-2 inches long.

Bobcat or mountain lion?

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Bobcat scat has a segmented appearance, would easily break apart into pieces, and has blunt ends

Black bear or coyote?

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Coyote scat often has hair from its prey interspersed. It is usually 1 inch in diameter and often has a pinched end because of sphincter muscles that can squeeze to end the evacuation.

Mountain lion or red fox?

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Mountain lion scat usually appears to be like a segmented cord, usually with one end of loose segments like a tail.

Black bear or grizzly bear?

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Black bear scat is often tubular. It is loose blobs with berries and seed during berry season or is filled with vegetation and insect parts during early summer.

Black bear or grizzly bear?

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Grizzly bear scat is difficult to distinguish from black bear scat, even in a lab. However, if the scat contains roots or tubers, it is grizzly bear scat, because they have claws long enough to dig into the ground for such items.

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