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Animal Poop Science: Mammals Take 12 Seconds to Poo -- Here's Why

Apr 28, 2017 02:27 PM EDT
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Mammals, despite their size, take an average of 12 seconds to poop. This is according to a new study conducted with 23 different species.
(Photo : Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

Apparently, there's more to mammals and their pooping behavior than what people already know about. Experts say it takes an average of 12 seconds for mammals to poop because it saves them from predators.

According to studies, mammals take 12 seconds to poop regardless of size. Defecating is a natural thing, and animals have learned to be vigilant and alert while doing so.

Researchers discovered that mice and elephants require the same amount of time to poop despite their humongous difference in physique and the size of their excrement. Humans arguably need the same allotted time, based on the research.

"If it's taking far longer than 12 seconds, I'd say you should go see someone about it," Patricia Yang, a mechanical engineer from Georgia Institute of Technology and lead author of the paper said in a statement. "But you can't count the newspaper time."

The study called the Hydrodynamic of Poo was published in Soft Matter, a journal focused on research about the chemistry and biology of the fundamental soft matter.

Based on the research, the 12-second rule applies to all mammals despite their size due to longer rectum and thicker mucus layer for the bigger animals. This means, although their excrements are bigger, they travel faster as well.

Most animals have mucus layer that assists in defecation. The mucus inside the colon makes the poop slide out.

"The smell of body waste attracts predators, which is dangerous for animals," Yang added. "If they stay longer doing their thing, they're exposing themselves and risking being discovered."

This means the instinct of animals to preserve themselves remains active even in their most vulnerable time. In order to come up with the findings, researchers used data from 23 different species.

Videos of animals on YouTube played a huge part in this study. The researchers even expressed their surprise over the huge number of animal poop videos uploaded on the Internet.

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