Scientists Build an Animal Fart Database

SCIENCE

Yeah, you read that right. What else do you need to know, really? (Washington Post)

Do we smell a citizen science project?

Teachers, scroll down for a quick list of key resources in our Teachers Toolkit.

V0007694ER A man looking through a magnifying glass at a picture of a m

A 17th century flatologist studies a flatulent monkey.
Engraving courtesy the Wellcome Library, London. CC-BY-4.0

Discussion Ideas

  • So, scientists have compiled a database of animal farts. What are farts?
    • Farts, also known as flatulence, describe gas generated or held in the stomach or intestines, and expelled through the anus.
    • Farting is literally passing gas: the root word of flatulence is the Latin word flatus, meaning “a blowing, breaking wind.”
    • The scientific study of farts is called flatology. Really!
    • Those who have the ability to fart at will are known as flatulists, and have been entertaining people for more than 1,500 years. (And that’s just documented. Our guess is that our pre-literate ancestral hominin brethren included flatulists.)

 

 

  • So, #DoesItFart?
    • Yes. Click through this gallery of farting animals from Photo Ark, and remember: the one who smelt it dealt it.

 

 

  • Do any animals NOT fart?
    • Yes, a lot, actually.
      • Birds don’t fart.
      • Marine invertebrates, such as clams or whelks, don’t fart. Cephalopods such as squids only fart if we count air coming out of their siphon as farting.
      • Salamanders and frogs have weak sphincters and probably don’t fart, but could.
      • Badgers apparently produce some of the most disgusting scat in the animal kingdom, but have yet to be recorded as farting. Yet. (We smell a dissertation!)

 

TEACHERS TOOLKIT

Washington Post: Scientists are building an animal fart database

Nat Geo: Citizen Science Projects

55 responses to “Scientists Build an Animal Fart Database

  1. As a Montessori teacher it is always great to have interesting but also engaging information to come back to. Wonderful idea!

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  6. Funny my last post was on the same subject – farting. I laughed through your post and learned a few things too- and here I was thinking I knew everything about farts with two sons! You might enjoy my post – don’t hide the baby !

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  11. I ve never thought about that there s a science called flatology !! And that salamander can not fart! I am still on laughing! Good to know 👍💪😆😆

  12. Excellent.

    I have two boys – one aged 3 and one 6. As you can imagine farting is the source of a great deal of conversation in our house. They are both also very interested in animals.

    This blog post will be up for discussion after dinner tonight, and probably for several days.

    I’m confident in confirming now that you can consider my boys big fans!

  13. This was so fun to read! I wish I would have read it yesterday–I was feeding my tortoise and I thought I heard what sounded like gas–but thought; no–tortoises probably don’t do that! Well…hahahaha…thanks again for posting!

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  17. If they are in any doubt, they should come round to my house and smell my dog’s emissions. In fact they can take the stinking hound away with them.

  18. I’ve never heard our rabbit fart. The dogs and cats certainly do. One of our dogs has scared herself with the sound of her own fart. 😂💨

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