Speed of poop: Big or small, mammals drop a deuce in ~12 secs, study finds

Ars Technica » Scientific Method 2017-04-29

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In 2015, mechanical engineers at Georgia Institute of Technology calculated that all mammals take about the same amount of time to empty their bladders: roughly 21 seconds of urinating. With the finding, they won an Ig Nobel prize—parody Nobel awards given to comical, yet interesting research.

In pursuit of further toilet tidbits—or perhaps another Ig Nobel—the researchers have now squeezed out a mathematical model of the hydrodynamics of pooping. And they’ve estimated that all mammals, big or small, void their bowels in 12 seconds, plus or minus seven seconds. Their findings were published this week in the aptly titled journal Soft Matter.

To come up with a universal deuce-dropping time, the researchers turned to YouTube, a dog park, and Zoo Atlanta. There, they filmed elephants, giant pandas, and warthogs producing bum brownies. In all, they collected 23 clips of pooping from 11 types of animals—which included cats, a mountain gorilla, lions, a black bear, zebras, a hippopotamus, and white rhinos, in addition to the others listed. It’s unclear if more data would alter their estimate of a universal time. They also eliminated power-poopers from the study, such as rabbits, rodents, and ruminants, which can serve up a bundle of turd pellets in short order. 

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