By Leigh KempNo matter how well digested, dung in the wild can provide a great deal of information. Fascinating information such as what the animal has been eating, or what its favoured foods are, can be read in the make-up of the deposit.
Searching through animals dung can be compared to investigating a crime scene, what with all the clues that present themselves. I once found a finger of what looked like a human child in a lion scat I was studying but after more study realised that it was the finger of a baboon that the lion had eaten earlier.
Monitoring dung is one of the most thorough forms of studying feeding habits of animals as the results cannot be argued with.
Elephants on the other hand have very ineffective digestive systems ensuring dung that is not very well digested. The dung is still full of nutrients providing sustenance for a host of other animals including Warthogs, Baboons, Monkeys and birds in the form of seeds and half digested food.
Dung is also essential for the propagation of numerous plant species. Birds and other species feed on fruits and move off into another area where they will release the half digested seeds in their dung. The seeds will germinate, thereby ensuring the propagation of the species.