To Track an Animal, You Need to Look For…

March 30th, 2010 by Smithsonian Journeys

Yes, we’re going there. The topic that makes everyone giggle. Take a deep breath and here we go:


You would think that such a silly subject wouldn’t be something Smithsonian scientists would bother studying, but they do. Scientists at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. keep a close eye on the animals, from the food they eat to the end result. It provides information that is vital to nutrition, reproduction efforts for animal conservation, and the overall health of the animal. Plus, when you are working with certain animals, it’s better to keep them at a distance. That’s why taking samples of their waste is the easiest way to keep an eye on our animal friends.

You can learn more about these scientists by watching SciQ: Poo on the Smithsonian Channel.


But tracking an animal in the wild is a different story. When it isn’t living in a zoo, and there’s a vast amount of land to cover, how do you even start looking for an animal? In that situation, finding a few droppings can really help narrow your search. Remember, when you are on safari in Africa, look for the poo.

Our Tanzania Family Safari is a great tour for adventure, exploration, and a lot of giggling by people of all ages.

Be honest, did this blog post make you giggle?

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2 Responses to “To Track an Animal, You Need to Look For…”

  1. Eric Norton Says:

    It takes clues from all areas to put the whole puzzle of an animal’s life together!

  2. Ponce Says:

    It does not speak well for a scientific organization like yourself to refer to one of the most normal processes of all living beings in such juvenile and immature terms. “The topic that makes everyone giggle. Take a deep breath and here we go:

    Are you certain you’re not breaking child labor laws by having an 11-year-old boy author your blog? Grow up!

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