Anyone interested in wild animals will know how important it is to look out for poo! And not just so you don’t step in it.
The presence of poo tells you which animals have been there and, luckily, many animal poos are very distinctive so it’s possible to identify the animal too.
Mayumi’s story also illustrates how important poo and pigs are in the forest ecosystem. Animals like pigs help grow new trees by eating fruits; the seeds pass through them and are deposited away from the parent tree where they can grow into new trees.
But animals roles within in ecosystems can be even more unexpected. A report from the BBC tells of peccaries (wild pigs of central and south America) creating pools that are used by poison dart frogs to raise their young tadpoles:
“Typically, female poison dart (dendrobatid) frogs lay eggs on land. Once the tadpoles hatch, male frogs, their fathers, then carry them to small nursery pools.
But these pools may be short-lived, and the frogs are too tiny to dig their own.
Enter the peccary, a species of wild pig common in Central and South America.
Peccaries like to fling turf, specifically by digging out wallows – their own individual mud spas.
As they do so, they can radically transform the rainforest floor, creating pools of water that are just the right size for prospective frog parents.”
For the full report see: Pigs help frogs have babies