Coprophages, Animals That Eat Poop
Coprophagia is a condition often associated with dogs eating their own, and that of other dogs, feces. While most humans find this disgusting, it is perfectly natural for dogs, and other animals. Let us examine the weird eating habits of some animals and find out why they eat poop. You might be surprised by some of them.
Dogs are most often associated with coprophagia. Dogs sometimes eat their own feces, other dog's feces, and have been known to eat cat feces right out of the litter box.
In the den the mother dog normally eats the feces of her pups. In the wild a dog will eat any feces that still smell meaty, and sometime dog poop simply smells good. Cat food usually has more meat in it than dog food so is equally attractive to a dog. Some dogs who are bored learn the habit. It is rarely the result of a poor quality food, in fact better quality food usually produces better tasting poop.
In the past pigs were used in toilets. The toilet was build raised and the pig lived below eating human waste and kitchen garbage. Pigs will eat the waste of other animals when it contains bits of undigested food.
In addition to their regular stools, rabbits produce a special kind of feces, called cecotropes which are softer than their normal stool. They eat these directly from their own rump. This helps the rabbit get vitamins and further nutrition.
Some Baby Animals
Young pandas, koalas, elephants, and hippos, eat feces of other animals of their own kind. They do this to add bacteria to their digestive tract as the bacteria are required or digestion of food within their stomachs.
Many primates have been observed eating the feces of their own kind and other animals. This may provide some nutrition, vitamins, salt, as well as gut bacteria. Even some humans have eating feces for “health” purposes, while others consider it a sexual fetish.
The dung beetle is well know for being a connoisseur of feces. Some dung beetles roll poop into balls to provide food for their young. Others burrow into feces and eat that way, making tunnels as they go or simply live in manure in general.
Flies are also well known for eating poop. Indeed much waste contains a lot of undigested, or partially, digested food that the flies are making use of.