While humans do Eɑт a lot of weird food items, one thing we never touch is fecal matter. This is because not only are we naturally grossed out by it, but also because we know that poop contains a lot of nasty pathogens that can get us really sick.
However, for many animals, feces is actually quite a common item on their sustenance menu.
Baby elephant ᴇɑтing the ρᴏᴏρ
Baby elephant ᴇɑтing the poop of the mother elephant sounds strange and strange. But in fact, ᴇɑтing mother’s ρᴏᴏρ is important for the survival and development of many young animals including elephants, rhinos, hippos and zebras. So why do baby elephants eat their mother’s poop?
Weird behavior of baby elephants
Wow!!! One particular baby elephant grabbed attention with his odd behaviour. This particular little elephant strangely looked interested in a pile of dung lying on the ground. The pile of dung belonged to his mother. The baby elephant goes down on his knees, moves his trunk to the side and takes a big bite of the dung with his mouth.
After the big bite of dung, the little one continues to sniff around the pile of dung and picks up a smaller piece and puts it in his mouth. In the end the baby elephant picks up a stick and puts it in his mouth. It looked like he was trying to get rid of the taste in his mouth and that he just needed a toothpick after his strange meal.
Why do baby elephants ᴇɑт their mother’s ρᴏᴏρ?
Elephants are hindgut fermenters. This means that once food has passed through their stomach and into their small intestine, it enters the large intestine, where fermenting bacteria help break down grass and plants. Baby elephants are not born with the necessary bacteria in their intestines to digest plants.
The only way that baby elephants can get the necessary digestive bacteria is by consuming the feces of the mother elephant or herd members. This behavior usually occurs during the transition period when the baby elephant begins to eat plants while still sucking milk.
Elephant dung consists of 75% water. The remaining 25% is made up of indigestible fibers, dead bacteria and salt, dead cells, mucus and live bacteria. These components are in equal proportions. Live bacteria are essential for baby elephants to build their digestive system as well as strengthen their immune system.
Hyena droppings are very high in calcium because hyenas consume bones as part of their diet. Leopard turtles will eat hyena droppings for calcium to strengthen their eggs and also harden their shells. Rabbits and hares also eat their own droppings to get nutrients from the food.
Interesting facts about elephants
Elephant dung is also an important resource for humans – their nutrient-rich manure replenishes depleted soils so humans have nutrient-rich soil to plant crops. Elephants are extremely intelligent animals. Elephants have the ability to recognize and distinguish human voices. Elephants are family animals and are extremely affectionate.
Adult elephants spend about 16 hours a day eating – they need up to 300kg of food and 160 liters of water a day. The elephant has 6 sets of molars to survive. When the last set is lost, the animal cannot eat and eventually dies of starvation.
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Video resource: WATOP