When your poop floats: Stools – floating: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia
Floater alert: Here’s what it means if your poop floats
Worried because your poop is floating rather than sinking?
Your poop can tell you a lot about your health. Red in the bowl – which can signal anything from haemorrhoids to colon cancer – is a known red flag.
But what if the colour is just fine, but it doesn’t exactly sink to the bottom of the bowl like normal poop does?
Read more: The secret to losing weight might be in your poop
It’s not exactly common, but we’ve all probably experienced the floating turd. So what exactly does it mean if your stool is not sinking?
“A floating stool is simply less dense than a sinking stool,” says gastroenterologist Dr Neil Stollman.
Doctors used to think this resulted from excess fat in the faeces, but one study in the New England Journal of Medicine suggests it’s actually extra air. Dr Stollman says it could probably be either, though air is more likely.
Extra air in the stool could come from unabsorbed carbohydrates, like lactose or fibre, which ferment in the colon and release gas, says Dr Stollman.
This may be more likely to happen if you’re lactose intolerant or have just consumed a lot of dairy or fibre all at once.
Sugary alcoholic drinks and artificial sweeteners can also make your poop gassier, says gastroenterologist Dr Kenneth Brown.
And if your poop contains more air or gas than normal, it will make it lighter – thus more likely to float on top of the water than sink to the bottom of it, like denser turds do.
Read more: Here’s a one weird reason you might be struggling to poop
Still, it’s possible that extra fat in your faeces can cause it to float, too. In this case, eating more fatty food than normal is likely the culprit, says Dr Stollman.
When your intestines can’t absorb all that fat, it’s excreted through your poop.
In rarer cases, fatty, floating stools – officially known as steatorrhea – can signal that your body is unable to digest and absorb nutrients, like fat, properly. This is called malabsorption.
If there are also drops of oil in the toilet, your pancreas might not be working properly to absorb the fat you eat, says Dr Brown. And oil in the poop itself might mean the bacteria from your small intestine are growing outside it, breaking it down before you can.
Read more: If you can’t stop passing gas, you need to read this
Doctors can diagnose malabsorption through a faecal fat test, which literally measures the amount of fat excreted in your stool. If your floating poop is caused by malabsorption, you will probably have other signs as well, like frequent loose stools, extremely foul-smelling stools, abdominal cramps and gas.
That said, in most cases, floating poop on its own probably doesn’t indicate any problem.
“Very few people have consistent bowels,” says Dr Stollman.
Most changes are simply due to diet or medications. But if you notice a change for a month or more, talk to your doctor just to be safe.
This article was originally published on www.menshealth.com
Image credit: iStock
is it better for poop to sink or float
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Does Your Poop Float?
or Fibre – just eat it!
right amount of fiber is the first step, however you spell it!
Normal stools are about 75% water. Fiber
in your diet holds onto water, making stools soft as
toothpaste. This signifies a healthy stool. Years ago in the
Saturday Night Post magazine, there was a hilarious article about the
importance of having poop that floats – and it’s still true. If
your poop doesn’t float, you’re not getting enough fiber in your
diet. So consider adding fiber by Going
With the Grain and Know Your
are normally brown from the pigments formed by bacteria and bile from
the liver. Bleeding high up in the digestive tract (esophagus,
stomach ulcers, etc.) can cause the stool to become black and tarry in
appearance. If there is bleeding lower down in the
digestive tract (hemorrhoids or colon problem) the stools will be mixed
with bright red blood. Anything that blocks the bile duct, or problems
with liver or gall bladder will affect the normal flow of bile to the
intestine. This will result in pale or white stools.
jump to conclusions about a sudden change in stool color. Eating a
lot of black licorice or imbibing red wine will cause tarry, dark
stools. Blueberries, beets and even paprika-laden dishes can darken
stools, and so will iron pills and good old Pepto-Bismol. If you
experience these symptoms in your stool regularly without anything in
your diet to account for it, then it’s time to run (don’t walk) to your
doc for a thorough checkup.
– Watch It!
normally contain about 1% fat. If the amount rises to 7%, it
creates a condition called steatorrhea. This type of stool is
soft, smelly and sticks to the toilet bowl. This can occur temporarily
after a fatty meal. If it’s happening too often, you may need to
reduce or substitute fats in your diet. Check out the
on Fat and Fat Substitutions
articles for tips on reducing fat and using “good” fats in
your diet. If it’s a chronic problem, it is from a lack of
pancreatic enzymes and you should consult your doctor. Usually,
taking a digestive enzyme supplement will do the trick.
with the Flow
often you go is a very individual matter. Some folks have one to
three movements a day, other may go every 3 days. Both extremes
and anything in between are perfectly normal. Don’t confuse not
going daily with constipation. It’s not frequency of bowel
movements, but the difficulty of having one that signifies constipation.
time to be “moved” is after breakfast. Getting up
triggers an increase in bowel activity. Breakfast expands the
stomach and stimulates the bowels. This tells the colon that
“it’s time to go”. Don’t delay a bowel movement for very
long when the urge is triggered. Short delays can be good because
they cause a more intense urge and an easier bowel movement.
bulky stool that is as soft as toothpaste and floats is the perfect
poop, but see the Bristol Stool Chart at right for the range. It has many health advantages, and fiber is the key to it
stools pass through the colon more easily and quickly that those
that are hard as rocks
is less straining therefore less chance of getting diverticulitis
(small colon hernias) and decreased risk of hemorrhoids
fiber diets lower blood cholesterol and fight obesity – keeping thin
reduces risk of diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease
contains vitamins and minerals, but has few calories – it fills up
the stomach and reduces the hunger reflex
our western culture, “sinkers” are by far the norm when it
comes to poop. Please don’t drive yourself to distraction trying
to achieve a “floater” every time you have a bowel
movement. You’ll get ulcers for crying out loud! And
you can overdo the fiber in your diet if you add too much, too soon, so
increase your dietary fiber slowly.
if your poop consistently floats, there’s a chance you might have a
malabsorption problem – a dysfunction of the GI tract that affects the
body’s ability to digest and absorb fat. Acute gastrointestinal
infections can also result in increased gas content in the intestines,
due to rapid movement of stool through the GI tract. Or, possibly
cystic fibrosis, celiac disease, biliary atresia, abetalipoprotenimia
could be responsible – all of which cause too much fat to end up in the
stool, and all of which require medical attention.
take all things in moderation – including your quest for floaters.
Increase your dietary fiber, decrease the fat, and do get an annual
physical exam that includes a colon checkup. Then sit back and
relax – on the throne!
What Does Your Poop Say About Your Health?
Yeah, we’re going there. We’re digging deep—going where you’d probably rather not think about. Your poop.
But you know what? Go ahead; take a peek in your toilet. It’s a gold mine of knowledge about your health, status of your nutrition, and more, says Anish Sheth, a gastroenterologist and author of What’s Your Poo Telling You?
Now, for everything you need to know about your poo, keep reading.
1. It’s not coming out, or resembles rabbit droppings
“An empty toilet bowl is the worst case scenario, but, aside from that, stool that lacks cohesion, has small particulates, and is eliminated in multiple, small pieces is a classic sign of constipation,” Sheth says. If it’s harder to pass (drier), and it happens occasionally, it’s likely you’re lacking fiber and water. Try adding these super fiber foods in your diet; and if you’re having a hard time drinking enough water, try these tasty alternatives to tap.
“If it’s a more long-standing issue, it could also be what we call slow transit constipation, something where your colon is moving things downstream much more slowly,” Sheth adds.
Prescription medication can also be influencing your irregularity. The two main culprits are blood pressure and pain meds, specifically those in the narcotic class. They also slow down the movement of your GI tract, making your bowel movements irregular and more difficult to pass.
2. It’s really loose, sometimes explosive
“The looser, more liquid consistency stools tend to be diarrhea, which actually refers to both the consistency and frequency,” Sheth says. It can vary in appearance and color, depending on its cause. Pick up some Imodium—stat. And stay hydrated! Taking a probiotic like Culturelle might help with occasional diarrhea, too.
3. If you have diarrhea that’s green
“There are exceptions, but for the most part greenish stool tends to signify an infectious diarrhea, which is either a bacteria, parasite, or a virus,” Sheth says. Head to your doc.
4. If you have diarrhea that’s practically black
“If you have diarrhea that’s very dark—specifically black—that’s very frequent it can indicate blood loss,” Sheth says. One of the causes can be a peptic ulcer higher up in your stomach. Head to your doc or a walk-in clinic right away.
5. If you have diarrhea that’s yellowish and oily
How’s this for a visual? “You can actually have an oily, yellowish, sort of greasy-appearing diarrhea which can be a sign of malabsorption,” Sheth says. If you have a hard time absorbing or digesting fats, your poop will appear glistening. Talk to your physician; malabsorption can be caused by conditions like celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, lactose intolerance, and/or intestinal damage.
6. If there’s blood in your poop
“Dark blood is usually from the stomach, typically from an ulcer,” Sheth says. “Then if you have red blood coming out, that’s usually from lower down in your GI tract,” he explains. Acute conditions like hemorrhoids would be the most common, sort of benign cause; but things like polyps and conditions like colon cancer can cause those symptoms as well, he notes. Chronic conditions like ulcerative colitis, can also cause you to have bloody diarrhea from inflammation in your colon. Any time you see blood in your toilet, talk to your doctor.
7. If your poop is orange
“Artificial dyes and some vitamin supplements can give crazy colors to your stool, but those are not usually signs of medical issues,” Sheth says.
8. If your poop is 50 shades of brown
Don’t worry. “Any kind of variation on a shade of brown is normal.” Color will vary depending on what you eat.
9. If your poop floats… or sinks
“Floating mostly reflects the amount of gas in your stool, so it’s not necessarily a bad thing,” Sheth says. “There are certain times when you’re going to have a couple bowls of chili or a burrito, and you’re going to have more gas in your GI tract.” For the next day or two, you may have floating stool.
Also, floaters can indicate you’re not absorbing nutrients, like fat. If there’s too much in your diet or your body is having a difficult time absorbing a normal amount, it’ll make your poop float
If you’re digesting your food properly and your intestines aren’t loaded with gas, your poop will sink; it won’t have that buoyancy. “It’s just going to settle at the bottom of the toilet bowl.”
10. If it’s varying in frequency
There’s a “normal” range based on a study from a couple decades ago, which is still quoted today. “Three times a day is on the higher frequency and once every three days is the minimum amount you should be going,” Sheth says. Pay attention to changes. Both of these patterns are normal so long as when you go to the bathroom it’s sort of effortless, you feel fine in between, and there’s no abdominal discomfort. These factors determine what’s normal. “But for somebody who’s been going once very day and now all of a sudden goes three times a day out of the blue, that’s sometimes a sign something’s wrong.”
11. If your poop is super thin
“If it’s a one-time occasion that you notice very thin-caliber stool that’s most likely related to a lack of fiber,” Sheth says. “The theory here is that you have a small volume, and you’re really straining to expel that bowel movement as opposed to just relaxing.” When you strain and try to force it out, you tighten up your rectal sphincter muscles. In turn, the opening through which the stool comes out is very small and so you end up with a very thin, small amount of poop. “When it’s persistent and progressive, which means it’s been going on for weeks, or even months, and the stool is gradually becoming more narrow, that’s when you get concerned about rectal cancer or something that’s blocking the bottom portion of your intestines.”
*Don’t freak just yet: The important takeaway is it’s only concerning if it gets progressively worse and persists for weeks.
12. If it smells like something died, rotted, then crawled up into your toilet
If your poop is putrid, your body probably isn’t digesting food properly. “Let’s say you have lactose intolerance or celiac disease where you can’t process gluten,” Sheth says. “You have undigested food making its way into your colon, which starts a process called fermentation.” That bacteria in your colon takes all this food and begins to ferment it (a process that turns sugar into acid, gas, or alcohol; in this case it’s gas). You get a lot of flatulence and foul-smelling stool. Talk to a dietician to see if you have any food intolerances or sensitivities.
13. If your poop doesn’t smell
“Some of it is based on diet; but if your digestion is healthy and there’s normal processing of what you’re eating, most of the digestion and the processes will take place in your small intestine so you’ll just have some residual left in your colon,” Sheth says. When your digestion is poor and food is left in the colon for a while, bacteria starts to get at it and fermentation begins (as we noted earlier). As for the diet, more veggies will make your poop stink less; more meat will make it worse.
14. If it’s coming out with urgency
If you don’t have diarrhea, but feel you have to go with a sense of urgency that can’t wait, it could be because of what you’re doing or eating. “Exercise is a great stimulus for what we call GI tract motility, meaning the movement of the muscular portion of your intestines is stimulated by moving around and exercising, so it keep things moving downstream in a timely fashion,” Sheth says. So, it’s perfectly normal to have to run to the bathroom in the middle of your run.
If you always have to use the bathroom as soon as you get in to work, like clockwork, it’s likely because of your morning coffee. “There is something called chlorogenic acid,” Sheth says. “It’s actually the active compound in coffee that causes the stimulation of your GI tract. Now, caffeine by itself does this a bit, but the reason why coffee is such a big stimulus is because of this chlorogenic compound that keeps the normal wave-like motion of the GI tract moving downstream.”
And if you practically wake up needing to use the bathroom after a night out, don’t sweat it; it’s common.
“Alcohol itself, rather ethanol, is a stimulant for the GI tract; but then there’s also this theory—I’m not sure how much it’s been proven—depending on what you drink can have an impact,” Sheth says. “When people drink a lot of malt liquor, there’s classically a lot of diarrhea,” Sheth says. “It’s not necessarily just the ethanol content, but also the high load of carbohydrates, which make it downstream into the colon where fermentation takes place.” So you’re bound to have gas and loose, frequent stools specifically with alcohol that’s higher in carbs. “It’s less common with a glass of wine,” Sheth adds.
15. This is what the perfect poop looks like
There are many factors, but this is what you want: “It should be effortlessly expelled in a single bolus, which is smooth and soft,” Sheth explains. “It should have very little aroma, obviously no blood, and be some shade of brown. It should ideally sink to the bottom of your toilet bowl. After the bowel movement, you should feel like you’ve completely evacuated. If you evacuate fully, in a single piece a cohesive stool, you tend to feel like the rectum and the bottom portion of your colon is empty and that tends to be a sign of a healthy bowel movement.”
With constipation or diarrhea, you don’t have that sense of emptiness—like you got everything out of you and you just cleared your entire GI tract. “People with diarrhea sometimes feel like there’s still more coming out, people with constipation feel like there’s still stuff left behind,” he further explains.
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7 Things Your Poop Says About You
Yep, we’re going there
Unless you’re a toddler in the throes of potty training, we’re going to guess you don’t spend much time talking about your poop. Or even acknowledge that they happen. But here’s why you might want to give your #2 a glance before you flush: It’s actually one of the best clues you have to your health. “Your bowel movements are the only real marker you have about what your G.I health is like,” says gastroenterologist Anish Sheth, MD, author of What’s Your Poo Telling You?
Ease tummy trouble with these yoga poses:
Getting familiar with what’s normal for you can also make it easier to spot issues earlier—when they’re easier to treat. However, “don’t go overboard with day-to-day changes,” Sheth says. “Rather, look for consistent changes.” That’s because depending on what you’ve been eating, you may notice temporary abnormalities that only last a day or two. But if you notice a change that lasts a week or more, and you’re unable to trace it to any recent diet change, make an appointment with your doctor. Discussing your bowel movements may not be your idea of a great time, but it just might save your life.
MORE: What Happened When A Married Mother Of 4 Told Her Family She’s Gay (Prevention Premium)
Check out these seven things your poop could be saying about your health.
If your poop is…Hard, in pieces, and you have to strain to pass it
It may mean: You’re constipated—but you probably already knew that. “However, some people assume that if they go to the bathroom every day then they’re not constipated, but if your stool is consistently hard and comes out in pieces rather than a soft, single piece that passes without much effort, you may be constipated,” Sheth says. The most common culprit is inadequate fiber intake. The average U.S. adult only downs about 15 grams of fiber a day—a fraction of the recommended 25 grams per day for women and 38 grams per day for men. Read labels and keep a food journal for a week to track how much fiber you’re actually taking in. If you’re falling short, bulk up your diet with additional fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, and seeds. (Check out these 23 high-fiber winners of our Cleanest Packaged Food Awards.)
If your poop is…Black or bright red
It may mean: Something in your G.I. tract is bleeding. “Most of the time blood in the stool is due to something as benign as hemorrhoids,” Sheth says. Since it could also be due to an ulcer in the stomach or colon cancer, it’s crucial to alert your doctor any time you notice blood in the toilet bowl. Certain over-the-counter medications, such as Pepto-Bismol, can turn your stool black. It occurs when sulfur in your digestive tract combines with bismuth, the drug’s active ingredient, and forms bismuth sulfide, a black-colored substance. The discoloration is temporary and harmless and may linger several days after you stop popping Pepto.
If your poop is…Very loose, but not diarrhea
It may mean: You have celiac disease. Although it only affects about 1% of the population, it’s estimated that 83% of Americans who have celiac disease don’t know they have it, according to the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness. Signs in your stool may be one of the major—and possibly the only—indications you have it. With celiac disease, your body is unable to tolerate gluten, a protein in wheat, rye, and barley. Eating gluten destroys villi (the tiny, fingerlike protrusions lining your small intestines) and you’re unable to absorb nutrients from the foods you eat. This contributes to the loose stools you could experience several times a day. Talk to your doctor about whether you should be screened for celiac disease. Switching to a gluten-free diet can aid absorption, firm up your stools, and address any other related symptoms such as fatigue, pain, bloating, depression, or rashes.
Search through more than 6,000 gluten-free recipes with our handy Recipe Finder.
If your poop…Floats instead of sinks
It may mean: You have excess gas in your digestive tract. “If you’ve been eating lots of beans, sprouts, cabbage, or very large meals, it’s perfectly normal for stool to float because of gas, and it’s not a cause for concern,” Sheth says. However, if floaters become more common for you or you spot an oil-slick appearance, it could mean something is preventing your body’s ability to absorb fats from food. For instance, inflammation or an infection in your pancreas could prevent you from producing enough digestive enzymes. A food allergy or infection could be damaging the lining of your intestines that’s affecting absorption, too. Ask your doctor for a stool sample test to see if there’s fat that shouldn’t be there. Sheth says additional workups may be necessary to get to the bottom of the problem.
If your poop…Smells like sulfur or eggs and you have diarrhea
It may mean: You could have giardia. The parasite tends to hang out in fresh water, so if you went swimming in a lake, have gone camping, or drank unpurified water recently, you may have picked up the bug along the way. The issue isn’t always as obvious as you may think. You could have diarrhea for weeks or even months, but otherwise feel fine. Your doctor can run a stool sample test to diagnose it, and certain antibiotics can treat it.
If your poop is…Pencil-thin
It may mean: You’re constipated, or be an indication of rectal cancer. “If you notice pencil-thin stool for a day or two, it’s probably not an issue,” Sheth says. “It may occur if you’re constipated and straining a lot, which prevents the muscles in the anal sphincter from opening and can narrow the way stool comes out.” Adding more fiber to your diet can help. But if the issue is ongoing, it could indicate rectal cancer. “With rectal cancer, the tumor is fixed and rigid and encircles the rectum so there’s less space for stool to squeeze through so it appears very thin and stringy,” Sheth adds. Make an appointment with your doctor. A colonoscopy can evaluate what’s going on.
MORE: 6 Health Problems To Never Ignore
If your poop is…Explosive, liquid, and a seaweed green color
It may mean: You have a Clostridium difficile (C. diff) infection. “It’s becoming more common and usually occurs after a course of antibiotics,” Sheth says. C. diff is a normal part of the flora in your digestive tract, but taking antibiotics can kill off the good bacteria that normally keeps C. diff in check. As a result, the bacteria may proliferate uncontrollably and cause serious stomach issues that can lead to dehydration, hospitalization, and in extreme instances may even be deadly. Call your doctor immediately. If you’re still taking a course of antibiotics, find out if you should stop.
MORE: What Your Pee Says About You
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What does Floating poop (Steatorrhea) mean?
It might be something you don’t want to think about or are too embarrassed to discuss with a doctor, but floating poop (or steatorrhea, as it is referred to medically) could be a sign of a real health issue.
Stools are usually solid, yet there are cases where a change in fecal structure makes your stools float or stick to the toilet. Floating poop is normally pal, soft, foul-smelling, and sticky. In many cases, people can have a floating stool due to dietary changes, but in other situations it could indicate a health problem that should be addressed. Although it may sound disgusting, people do need to pay attention to their poop.
Excess fat in a stool is a simple steatorrhea definition, but really the problem is not always that cut and dry. Some people who suffer from steatorrhea find that it is temporary due to eating foods that cause their poo to contain excess gas, while others may discover they have an infection or are gluten or lactose intolerant. It can also be a sign that, for some reason, your body is not processing nutrients properly.
There are a number of steatorrhea symptoms that a person could experience. However, the signs that appear for one person may be different from what appears for another. It all depends on what the underlying cause of the steatorrhea is.
Here’s a list of some of the typical steatorrhea symptoms:
- Abdominal pain or cramping
- Abdominal swelling or bloating
- Abnormally foul-smelling stools
- Bloody stool (the blood may be red, black texture)
- Nausea with or without vomiting
- Pale feces
Some people with steatorrhea may also have a cough, dark urine, frequent infections, weight loss, itchy skin, or yellowing of the skin, known as jaundice. Additionally, there are symptoms that could indicate a life-threatening illness. For example, chest pain, high fever, inability to produce urine, breathing problems, and severe abdominal pain that comes on suddenly could be very serious. There are even situations where steatorrhea can cause people to pass out (lose consciousness).
What causes poop to float?
Floating poop causes are most often related to diet. Dietary changes can lead to an increase in gas. Foods that are rich in lactose, starch, fiber, or sugars – like apples, milk, cabbage, sprouts, beans, and soft drinks – can be responsible for a floating stool. If you have not made any changes to your diet and notice floating poop, along with some of the symptoms outlined above, other causes, including those described below, have to be considered.
Malabsorption – When this is the cause, the floating stool will have a greasy look to it and will be very smelly. In these cases, the stool passes through the intestine quickly. It could be a gastrointestinal tract infection. Some of these infections can go away within a short period of time without any treatment.
Lactose intolerance – If someone is lactose intolerant, they could have a floating stool when they consume any diary products. Lactose is a sugar that is found in dairy products. Some people just can’t digest it. Consuming dairy when lactose intolerant can lead to diarrhea and even malabsorption.
Celiac disease – When a person has inflammation of the lining in the small intestine, it could mean that they can’t handle gluten. This protein is found in wheat and related grains. There is no cure, but the abdominal pain, fatigue, and other unpleasant symptoms can be kept under control by not eating gluten.
Cystic fibrosis – People with cystic fibrosis have excessive production of mucus that is sticky in the digestive tract and the lungs. It stops the pancreas from completely absorbing nutrients.
Short bowel syndrome – This is a disease whereby the intestines are unable to absorb nutrients properly. An intestinal disease, a surgical procedure involving the small intestine, or a birth defect could cause short bowel syndrome.
Other diseases – Although rare, there are diseases such as Bassen-Kornzweigh syndrome, biliary atresia, disaccharidase deficiency, and chronic pancreatitis that can cause floating stool.
Diagnosing and treating floating poop
To diagnose steatorrhea, a doctor will ask you to describe your stool, as well as how long you have been experiencing floating stool. Questions about your diet and medical history will also be asked. It is common for a stool and/or blood sample to be tested.
The cause will help the doctor decide what treatment, if any, is necessary. If a bacterial infection is the problem, then antibiotics will likely be prescribed. If diarrhea is an issue, dietary changes will be recommended or, in some cases, an antidiarrheal medication could be prescribed. When there are other symptoms, you will be instructed to keep an eye on your diet and number of bowel movements. Additional tests could be ordered if the doctor suspects a specific disease is the cause.
Natural ways to improve fat malabsorption
If malabsorption is causing the floating poop, there are natural ways to deal with it.
Gradually increase good fats. Going from a low-fat to a high-fat diet can lead to malabsorption, so gradually increase consumption of healthy fat over a period of weeks. Healthy fats include olive oil, ghee, whole nuts and seeds, as well as meats and whole-fat dairy from grass-fed, pasture-raised animals.
Consume coconut oil. This oil is a healthful food that contains mostly medium chain fatty acids. Due to its composition, it absorbs without bile.
Eliminate “healthy” whole grains. Fiber cereals, whole wheat breads, and pastas fuel a cycle known as “carbohydrate malabsorption”. Essentially, grains wear down the filaments in the small intestine that are responsible for absorbing food. This can lead to something called leaky gut, which is when undigested food leaks from the small intestine into the blood stream. This causes inflammation and food allergies.
Eat mindfully. Digestive juices, such as stomach acid and bile, release when the body is calm and relaxed, so focus on sitting down for meals, taking time to chew and taste food, and ignore distractions like phones or televisions.
Try fermented foods. The enzymes in raw foods significantly increase the fermentation process, which improves digestion. Naturally fermented sauerkraut and pickles are two examples. Other nutrient-dense options include full-fat yogurt and kefir.
Consider hydrochloric acid. You can boost acid with hydrochloric acid supplements. Acid triggers the chain reaction of digestion. You can also get stomach acid naturally with foods. Lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, black olives, celery, and spinach all stimulate the production of hydrochloric acid.
Closely examining your own washroom visits can seem like an odd thing to do, but you can see how knowing what your stool looks like and paying attention to how you feel physically could tip you off to a health issue that may need attention.
Remember, while floating poop (steatorrhea) should not cause you to panic, it should give you reason for reflection. In the majority of cases, even a small adjustment to diet can change the look of your stool and keep your digestive tract working the right way.
Related: Bowel movements: How often should you poop?
Fecal Fundamentals: Learn What Your Poop Says About Your Health
The first part of the digestive story receives the most fawning attention. Everyone likes a beginning, and eating is a winning topic. The grinding, churning breakdown of digestion makes for an industrial middle section. Then there’s the end. “Waste is expelled.”
But everyone is a digestive magician whose failsafe trick is turning delicious food into poop. It’s normal. It’s essential. And it’s time the finale of the digestive story had its moment—it’s time to talk about what your poop means and what your poop says about your health.
Don’t cower from this poop talk or think yourself uncouth for your interest in the topic. Don’t hold it against yourself or scold your inner child for giggling. By the end, you’ll see that poop is important—if a little gross—to consider and discuss. You can handle the types of stool and what poop color means.
Poop can be a funny word, an uncivilized topic, and a key to understanding your health—all at once.
Look to the Large Intestine for Keys to Understanding What Your Poop Means
Poop is formed from the solid parts of food your body can’t absorb or use in another way. It’s purely waste—the scatological leftovers—collected and compressed in your large intestine.
And your colon is a great starting place for this indelicate discussion. That’s because various stool types and what your poop says about your health begins in the large intestine. Many of the factors broken down below have their origins here.
Before proceeding further, let’s explore a bit more about what makes up your poop. No matter the consistency, poop contains a lot of water—approximately 75 percent. You’ll also find undigested matter, which mainly means fiber. Stool also contains:
- live and dead bacteria
- intestinal mucus
- proteins and fats
- a variety of other cells and discarded cell parts
This mashup of your body’s trash collects in your large intestine. It solidifies the longer the mixture stays here because water is absorbed through the large intestine.
When it’s time to go, your defecation reflex starts. The literal movement of your bowels is driven by peristalsis. These muscle contractions in the rectum, like those along the digestive conveyor belt, initiate the final act of digestion.
During your follow-up work in the bathroom, a lot of questions can pop up. The biggest one seems to be, “Is that normal?” People don’t regularly—no pun intended—talk about what their usual stool is like, so comparison is hard to come by.
That being said, you can look at the characteristics below and better understand what your poop means. The information you’ll receive from your own quick stool study won’t be medical quality, but it can begin to illuminate what your poop says about your health.
What Stool Color Means
The color palate of your poop should exist in shades of brown. The exact variations and hues are determined mostly by the raw materials of your diet.
The leftovers will look a lot like what you ate, so the exact color can change day by day. More leafy greens one day will add a touch of green. Beets can produce a shocking red. But brown remains dominant because that’s the color of used up digestive enzymes, bile, and bilirubin.
Divergences in poop color that are unexplained by your diet may be signals from your body. Here’s an explanation for what stool color means:
- Black: Some iron supplements and copious amounts of black licorice could be the culprit. Outside of those explanations, black poop is a serious matter to bring to your doctor’s attention. It can mean bleeding is happening in your upper intestinal tract.
- Red: Your first thought is blood. And, in the absence of red foods, you’re probably right. But, unlike black poop, the bleeding is happening later in the process—in the large intestine or rectum.
- Really Green: If you skipped the spinach and still have very green poop, the issue lies with bile. Your body hasn’t had time to fully utilize and dismantle the bile before your bathroom break. That suggests your food’s cruise down the digestive highway is happening at higher-than-normal speeds.
- Grey/White: Green means too much bile leftover, and grey or white is the opposite. This coloration may mean inadequate bile supplies earlier in the digestive process. Talk to your doctor about reasons this may be consistently happening.
- Yellow: Fat is typically at fault for yellow-colored poop. If this is a persistent problem, you can talk to a health-care professional about potential absorption issues.
Fecal Firmness and Texture Tell You a Lot
You can feel when something is off about the firmness and texture of your poop.
Ideally, your stool is smooth, firm, soft—but not too soft—and passes without issue. Think of this as the center of a continuum. The further your feces strays from that middle point in either direction, the less healthy it is.
Moving left and away from the center, the stool types grow increasingly lumpy and firm. Some lumpiness is OK. The far-left side of the spectrum is poop that’s like hard, little, problematic pebbles.
The opposite is true for the far-right side of the stool spectrum. The further you go, the softer it becomes—ultimately hitting diarrhea at the extreme right end. A little softness in the stool is still accepted as healthy, but once you start seeing cloud-like pieces with ragged edges, you may be on the way to diarrhea.
There’s a lot of space between pebbly feces and a smooth stool, as well as diarrhea and the perfectly formed poop. Your bowel movements can and will slide along the spectrum depending on your diet and daily blips in digestive health.
Time spent in the colon is responsible for a lot of differences in texture and firmness. Poop hardens up when it spends too much time there, but it gets softer the faster it moves through.
This speed can tell you a bit about what’s going on in your digestive health. Hard, pebble-like stool signals constipation and might also be a sign of dehydration or a lack of fiber. On the other side, diarrhea is your body’s way of quickly ridding itself of unwanted items. Those can include bacteria, viruses, and foods it doesn’t easily tolerate.
Bigger digestive issues can be tied to the extremes of the stool spectrum. If issues persist, consult with your health-care provider.
Judging Your Bowel Movement’s Buoyancy
Unlike color or texture, buoyancy is simple, with no spectrums or charts. There are only two options—sink or float.
You want your poop to sink in the toilet bowl. That’s a sign of good density. It also means your stool doesn’t contain too much fat.
If your poop floats, you may consider cutting back on fat in your diet. Consistent floating issues after a dietary change might mean your body is having trouble absorbing fat—another point of discussion with your doctor.
What Your Poop Says About Your Health if There are Visible Food Particles
Don’t worry too much if you can identify some of the fibrous parts of your diet in your poop. Fiber isn’t able to be digested fully, and the insoluble sort may not change much on the digestive journey.
You can help your guts out by chewing your food better to give digestion an adequate head start. Breaking up fiber-rich vegetables in your mouth won’t make the indigestible parts break down fully. But it will at least make the end of the process less alarming.
Your Last Two Poop Properties to Consider: Size and Smell
No two poops are the same in size. If you eat more, you’ll poop a bit more—whether more frequently or in larger quantities.
It’s normal to poop up to three times a day and as infrequently as every couple of days. And your round, smooth-but-solid stools are ideally a few inches (several centimeters) each. The small, hard pebbles aren’t what you want. But if it’s a bit bigger, that’s not problematic in and of itself—especially if it was easy to pass.
Then there’s smell.
If your poop actually smells like flowers, that would be more abnormal than a bit of unpleasant odor. Poop stinks. And that’s because bacterial breakdown of food is a smelly business. But if the odor is often extremely pungent—to the point where you can’t stand it—you may want to check with your doctor about a potential infection or digestive issue.
A Few Words About Urine
While body waste is at the top of your mind, you might also wonder about urine. It’s another way your body is emptying the garbage. You can learn something about your health from your urine, too.
Pee color is often the first and best signal for hydration status. Properly hydrated people have pale, straw-colored urine. The darker the shade of yellow, the more water you need to start drinking.
Some vitamins may also impact the color of urine, turning it a brighter, more golden color. Medications and food coloration (including natural pigments or synthetic dyes) can make your urine blue, green, or brown. Red or pink urine could also be food related, but blood is often to blame. See your doctor if bloody urine persists outside of dietary factors.
Your pee can also smell different, depending on the balance of waste products and water in urine. If you haven’t eaten asparagus and your pee consistently and persistently smells strong and odd, it might warrant a conversation with a health-care professional.
Don’t Waste an Opportunity to Keep an Eye on Your Health
People’s trash tells interesting stories. You can learn a lot. Poop is your body taking out the garbage, and there’s much to glean from the types of stool you have. So stop shortchanging the end of the digestive story and pay a bit more attention to what your poop says about your health and your lifestyle.
But it’s easy to overreact to a peculiar poop. Your strange stool might have you rushing to the internet to dabble in self-diagnosis. Don’t do it.
What your poop says about your health is worth paying attention to. But clear signals tend to bear out in the long-term more than on a single occurrence. You should immediately address bleeding or black stool, and quickly deal with diarrhea or constipation. Other indications about what your poop means may change as quickly as the calendar flips from day to day, though.
If you’re looking for positive poop interventions, start with your diet and lifestyle. Changes in diet can upend your fecal expectations. Switching to a higher-fiber diet will make an impact you’ll see in the toilet bowl quickly. Same goes for lowering your fat intake. Other lifestyle tweaks to form more perfect poops include healthy hydration, regular exercise, and supporting a balanced microbiome.
90,000 Why don’t aquarium fish eat food
31 March 2016
Taking care of the well-being of the aquarium, you install high-quality equipment for aeration and filtration into it, purchase various medicines for fish. However, some aquarists forget about the rules for feeding ornamental fish, which is why they often have the problem of lack of appetite. Most of the cases associated with a lack of appetite in fish are caused by completely natural processes, but in some situations this can be a symptom of severe whitening.
Reasons for lack of appetite in fish
Fish appetite is one of the main indicators of its health. However, one should not think that “great health is a great appetite.” Each fish should eat in moderation, but some species of fish, such as young scalar, do not have a feeling of satiety, so you set and control this “measure of satiety” on your own.
If your fish suddenly stops eating food, do not immediately sound the alarm and feed it or immediately pour fish medications into the aquarium.To begin with, you should carefully examine it for the presence of external injuries or other changes (adhesion of fins, pallor of color, and more). It should be understood that there are several main reasons why fish may lose their appetite:
- new, unfamiliar fish food;
- the presence of diseases in fish;
- the type of food is not suitable for this type of fish: you should pay attention to the structure of the mouth of your fish and its natural diet (predator or carnivore) and, according to this, select the appropriate type of food for it;
- Some fish species hatch eggs in their mouths, so for this period of time they may refuse to eat;
- Stress in recently launched fish in a common aquarium: as a rule, this is due to habituation and development of a new space, usually this process lasts about 2 days;
- poor water quality or incorrect temperature in the aquarium;
- a tumor or a foreign body in her throat, while the fish swallows food, and then spits it out – in such cases, you should contact specialized veterinary clinics;
- A fish’s lack of appetite and excrement may mean that it is constipated; usually constipation in fish goes away within 2 days;
- the fish recently went into a fight, and noticeable injuries remained on its body – the lack of appetite in this case is due to the presence of post-traumatic syndrome in the individual and the unwillingness to enter into conflict again;
- Poor feed quality.
90,015 fish were recently overfed;
Basic principles of proper fish feeding
Choosing food for aquarium fish, it should be understood that along with it, she receives all the vitamins and minerals she needs, and their lack can adversely affect her general condition and immunity in general. Therefore, when choosing food for fish, you should pay attention to their following parameters:
- manufacturer and quality;
- specific purpose;
- composition of trace elements and vitamins;
- type of feed (bottom or floating).
You should also be aware that an open can of feed can be stored for no more than 6 months, then the feed begins to deteriorate, and the fish may stop eating it.
There are basic rules for the correct feeding of aquarium fish:
- “hungry fish – healthy fish”, that is, the fish does not need to be overfeeded;
- fish are better fed two small portions, morning and evening, than one large portion at a time;
- Nutrition should be varied, for example, alternating dry and live food;
- There is no need to feed the fish immediately after a full or partial water change, as it may be stressed and not up to it.
90,015 fish do not know the feeling of satiety, so you need to calculate the daily allowance yourself;
As a result, we can say that the appetite of a fish is one of the indicators of its health, as well as the quality of its environment. If you notice an unhealthy individual in your room, it must be urgently deposited in a separate aquarium and not fed for 1-2 days. If symptoms of the disease appear on it, then it is urgent to start treating it with the help of all kinds of medicines or folk methods.
90,000 Scalaria in the beginner’s aquarium – Your aquarium
The scalar is an exceptionally beautiful aquarium fish, and the admiring owners have provided it with all kinds of poetic names: both a winged leaf and a floating crescent… The scalar is originally one of the most beloved fish of aquarists – it has such a fantastically unusual body shape, and the color, albeit not too bright, but very diverse, soft and beautiful. In addition, the behavior of the scalar is active, and she does not take up livability. The conditions of detention must be treated responsibly, here it will be necessary to fulfill much more conditions than with ordinary guppies or cardinals. The water must always be very clean and the food of good quality.
In the wild, scalars live in small rivers in South America, where the current is weak and aquatic vegetation is abundant.They love the reed bays near the banks of the Orinoco and Amazon rivers. The scalar’s body is high – up to twenty-six centimeters, but short – only fifteen centimeters. Therefore, they look disc-like. The fins are very long, which is what gives the scalar a resemblance to the celestial crescent. On the chest of these cichlids, filamentous fins, which are sharpened to the ends. It is not so easy to distinguish males from females: males are forehead and round, and females are plump and angular, but these differences are not too obvious.
The most common silver scalar with vertical black stripes. There are usually four stripes – through the eye, two on the side and the last on the caudal peduncle. The dorsum is usually darker than the abdomen. Breeders have worked a lot with this fish, and now the color of scalars varies by a hundred frets – from silver olive to green and gray, from black marble to smoky gold, there are scalars not only of two, but also of three colors at the same time. Veil forms of scalars are very common.Not a single list of derived forms of this species will probably be complete. There are semi-black and albinos, smoky and smoky red, just red and chocolate, just a phantom and two-spotted, white scalars and blue, lace zebra scalar, cobra scalar, leopard scalar, red-golden marble and red-half-black scalars, just pearl and pearl with gold, even scaleless and diamond … And you can list it for a very long time.
Fish are gregarious, loneliness oppresses them.If the aquarist buys a pair of scalar, they quickly get used to each other, even both remain faithful to their partner afterwards. They are usually kept in small groups of four or six. Such a team immediately follows many rules: the best food always goes to the largest couple, and all other conditions are always better for them. These hierarchy rules are strictly enforced. If there is a lonely fish in the team – without a pair, it also gets access to food in the very last place. The collective cannot live without a renegade: if the outcast is settled, either one fish or the weakest pair of all will immediately be in his place.With a large flock and in a large aquarium, these problems usually do not occur. The scalars are shy, you need to be very careful: do not knock on the aquarium, do not suddenly turn on the bright light, otherwise the fish may even lose color from fright.
Since most often these aquarium fish grow large, they will also need roomy housing. Two pairs of scalars will normally feel in a container of at least sixty liters. The width of the tank is not so important, but in height they will need at least forty-five centimeters of water space.The optimum temperature in the aquarium is from twenty-three degrees to twenty-six, and it is better not to experiment in this regard, the pets can simply get sick. First of all, the water must be clean, and therefore a bottom filter or canister is needed, every week it is imperative to change the water in the aquarium to one fifth of its volume and thoroughly wash the entire aquarium at least twice a quarter. Here we must not forget the fact that scalars do not like strong currents. Therefore, the filter should not create inconvenience to them in the form of violent emissions of water.
Angelfish love light, and the lighting may well be bright. But it is not recommended to turn the day on or off abruptly. The vegetation in the aquarium should be dense, but swimming space is also necessary. Surface plants are just the best option: they dim the excess lighting, and the scalars feel safe. At the bottom of the aquarium, it is better to pour coarse sand with fine gravel, scalars are not one of those fish that will dig in the ground. You can build decorative rocks, put a couple of picturesque driftwood, make a gorge and a cave.All this without a single sharp corner, so that the fish that wants solitude does not get hurt. Safety comes first.
How to feed the scalar is not a question, it eats almost everything, the main thing is to equip the feeder. Of course, food should be of high quality, but the choice here is huge – daphnia, koretra, live bloodworms, dry food, granulated, flakes. They eat scalars and algae by biting off plant leaves. You can give these fish minced seafood, chopped mussel and shrimp meat.
Why do you need a feeder? Scalarians are moon-shaped, rounded fish, it is very problematic for them to take food from the bottom. You need to know and remember that it is these cichlids that are prone to gluttony, you need to keep the amount of portions eaten under control. And it is better to underfeed, since overeating makes the fish grow fat and live much less. Do not be upset and worried if the scalar suddenly refuses to eat. Her body requires a certain number of hungry days. The scalar will return to its normal diet in a few days.However, even if she is on hunger strike for a week or more, it’s also okay.
Like other cichlids, scalars are individualists by nature, it is quite difficult for them to find normal neighbors that suit both sides. The choice of other fish in the same aquarium with scalars can always be solved only by trial and error. Although, it is definitely impossible to add barbs and cockerels to them. The scalars are slow, but still cichlids, their small mouth is the mouth of a predator. They observe territoriality, and during spawning they can attack other fish in a whole flock, protecting future offspring.All other inhabitants of the aquarium will shyly huddle in the corners, afraid to stick their nose out. Each new fish in the aquarium is always the target of baiting by the scalar, they can peck it to death.
If scalars grew up in a common and fairly spacious aquarium at the same time as other fish, the world may survive. Even neons, which are their natural food in the wild, may survive. If you add barbs to the aquarium, the beauty of the scalar will end, all their luxurious long fins will be bitten.If you hook up the cockerels, the scalars will not give them a quiet life. The fight will begin not for life, but for death. However, it is impossible to predict exactly how this or that fish will behave before being hooked on. Cockerels, too, are not all choleric, if a phlegmatic is caught, there will be a beat.
Thorns can become the best neighbors for scalars, these school fidgets will not allow themselves to catch up, and therefore the scalars will pretend that they do not even notice. Also good are fish that live in the lower layers of the aquarium, where scalars do not swim.They live quite amicably with swordsmen, and they look great together, especially with black scalars – red swordsmen. Catfish suckers will offend the scalar: they stick from a wide side, where they cannot be reached, and eat up the scales of the scalar. And these predatory habits can be mitigated only by increased feeding of catfish. But it is still better to preserve and not endanger the wonderful brilliance of the aquarium scalar fish.
It is better for an aquarist to feel sorry for wonderful neons with beautiful guppies.Even if they get along in the same aquarium with scalars, one cannot hope that sooner or later they will be eaten unnoticed late at night. These fish live well with zebrafish, some catfish, with gourami, but by no means with goldfish – they are gentle creatures, vulnerable, with a different feeding regime, and scalars pluck them cleanly – all veils, all fins.
Before the onset of puberty, it is problematic to distinguish between a female and a male, and then it is difficult. In the male, on the forehead there is a fat deposit in the form of a tubercle, similar to a hump, the thoracic keel is prominent – convex, when it turns to the front position – the wedge-shaped structure of the body is clearly visible.In the male this wedge is sharp, and in the female it is blunt. The dorsal fin in males is more elongated, differs in transverse stripes at the end of it: females do not have more than six stripes, but males have seven or even more. However, artificially bred scalar fish are sometimes impossible to distinguish on these grounds. These are marble, golden, albinos. It is easier to distinguish between male and female by behavior, when pairs are formed before spawning, but this is not much easier. Females sometimes can play the role of a male in the mating game – they are real artists.
The scalar, as already mentioned, independently form pairs and observe fidelity in marriage. Ready couples cannot be separated – they will suffer and hurt a lot. A new alliance is almost impossible. It is not difficult to determine the established pair – they always swim one after the other and keep close, and the male tries to pinch the female in any corner of the aquarium. If the aquarist decides to breed a scalar, they need to be kept for a long time in optimal conditions for the development of reproductive products. The water temperature is not lower than twenty-seven degrees, live food – bloodworms, tubifex, daphnia and the like.Fish raised on dry food are usually smaller, paler and rarely reproductive.
If conditions are right, scalars are very fertile – they can spawn every two weeks, but eggs must be harvested immediately. Before spawning, a couple is kept together, otherwise the male sex products will not ripen, the females inspire them. Three or four times a week you need to partially change the water in the aquarium (and it is better to add distilled or boiled water, hard water will interfere with spawning. Plants with large leaves are definitely needed, and some aquarists also place a piece of ceramic tile or plastic in the aquarium, scalars love this area spawn.These fish do not need a separate spawning ground.
Finally, the female’s abdomen is rounded, and the male’s behavior changes extremely: he guards the territory, cleans the surface where it is planned to spawn. Spawning usually occurs in the evening and lasts up to one and a half hours. The female fills the prepared surface in even rows, followed by the male and fertilizes the eggs. It turns out about seven or eight hundred eggs. All cichlids take care of the offspring zealously, but not for long. After two or three days, their joy fades and one no longer wants to protect the eggs from other fish.
However, there are times when the male and the female take care of the offspring until the moment when the fry begin to feed on their own. As soon as spawning is over, the parents begin guarding, fanning the clutch with their dorsal and pectoral fins, picking up fallen eggs, and eating the whitened ones. It is a pity that usually this concern ends quickly, it would not harm the fry. Very often, caviar is already eaten by the morning. That is why aquarists engaged in the cultivation of scalars always transfer eggs to another tank almost immediately – two or three hours after spawning.
For the ripening of caviar, an incubator is needed, which is not at all difficult to prepare. Take a small aquarium – five or ten liters, half fill it with water from a common aquarium, and the other half – distilled water. A heater that keeps the temperature at thirty degrees is required, as well as an air atomizer. The plate with caviar must be installed in the tank so that it is slightly washed by the current, but without air bubbles. For the sake of prevention, you need to add special remedies for fungal infection.
Very useful small plants – riccia or duckweed, which will work as a biofilter, regulating the level of nitrogen. In such thickets, ciliates and rotifers quickly multiply, which will serve as a wonderful food for the fry that have appeared. The lighting cannot be turned off. Whitened eggs must be constantly removed, and for this, a tool such as an eyedropper is perfect. The larvae will appear in two days and hang on sticky ropes.
After three days, you can already see the future fry – their heads and yolk sacs with food.The larva is held by a cord, from which it constantly tries to free itself, and therefore is in motion all the time. But the rope will not break off soon. Sometimes you have to endure seven, and sometimes all twelve days. And then the fry begin their swimming. Everything has already been eaten from the bag, and therefore the fry should be immediately fed immediately. Small scalars eat mashed yolk and dry food. But this is very little, live food is needed – daphnia, ciliates. Usually on the fifth day after spawning, aquarists begin to grow brine shrimp in a volume incubator.The fry are fed often – at least five times a day. The filter in the incubator must be closed in advance, for example. Capron so that the fry do not climb into it.
If the caviar was of high quality, there will be a lot of fry. Some part must be planted so that a maximum of two fry falls on one liter of water, otherwise the level of nitrite and ammonia will jump sharply, and this is destructive for babies. Water needs to be changed every day by about a third, the remains of feed must be removed. After a month, the fry will already look like a scalar, then they are again planted so that each one has at least four liters of water.And at this age, you can feed the fry with a finely chopped tubifex, bloodworms, and gradually accustom them to live food. Soon they will meet their own parents in the common aquarium. Breeding scalars is, of course, troublesome, but very interesting, but the result is always amazing.
Text : Lyudmila Garkavaya
90,000 Scientists have found DNA from tigers, fish and lemurs in the atmosphere
Over the past decade, researchers have learned how to extract animal DNA from water.This made it possible to study the species composition of the inhabitants of water bodies and, for example, identify invasive species. Later experiments showed that DNA can also be isolated from soil or harvested from leaves.
Now a group of researchers from Queen Mary University of London has proven that DNA can be captured even in the air.
They talked about this in more detail in an article published on the bioRxiv preprint service.
Scientists have installed vacuum pumps with filters in 20 places of the zoo and started them for half an hour.In total, they took 72 air samples inside and outside the zoo. The amount of DNA obtained in this way was very scarce, so the researchers used PCR to increase the concentration of its fragments.
“The zoo is a great place to test this technique because the animals are not native and are spatially limited to enclosures,” explains Professor Elizabeth Clare, lead author of the study. “This meant that if we were successful and could detect DNA in the air, we would know exactly where it came from and how far it flew.”
The researchers compared the obtained sequences with the records of the genetic database.
They were able to identify 17 species of animals that were in the zoo, and a few more – living nearby, for example, hedgehogs and deer. The DNA of some animals from the zoo was determined at a distance of 300 m from the enclosures. Also, the filters got DNA from chickens, pigs, cows and horses – probably from the meat that the predators were fed with. In total, the researchers found DNA from 25 species of mammals and birds.
“We found DNA from a tiger, DNA from a dingo, and most of all, a DNA from a Vari lemur,” says Claire. “Their DNA was the most widespread. We don’t know exactly why, but lemurs are certainly very active compared to other animals. They jumped in their cages, showing great interest in the people passing by. In contrast, many other animals just lay there because it was winter. ”
“The ability to detect the DNA of so many animal species in air samples is a huge breakthrough,” said ecologist Matthew Barnes of Texas Tech University.
Interestingly, a similar experiment was conducted at the same time by a team from the University of Copenhagen. The researchers also collected air samples from the zoo and collected DNA from a total of 49 animal species.
“We were amazed,” says Christine Bohmann, lead author of the study. “We got DNA from mammals, fish, birds and reptiles, large and small animals, with feathers and scales. We even found DNA from guppy fish swimming in a pond in the zoo’s tropical garden. ”
Just like the British researchers, the Danish ones were able to identify wild animals outside the zoo and those that went to feed the predators.
“We realized we were detecting DNA from animals that were being fed to others, such as fish,” says Bohmann. “We also captured the DNA of local cats and dogs and local wildlife. It is amazing that we were able to detect this. There are a lot of things we need to clarify now about the tracking of airborne DNA, but the practical applications are very interesting. ”
Collecting DNA from the air can be useful, for example, when tracking insect pests or for studying burrowing animals without being disturbed.However, a number of issues remain to be clarified before applying such a method.
“We can find a piece of DNA from a tiger, but we can’t yet tell when it separated from the animal,” explains Claire. “It could have been minutes, hours, or days ago. We currently have no way of knowing how long DNA lasts in the air. And this is just one of many aspects that we have to figure out. ”
It is also unclear how far DNA can be from its source, how its movement is influenced by environmental factors, how exactly animals “shed” DNA – when itching, sneezing, fighting prey or some other event.
Claire’s group was prompted to experiment in the zoo by the successful experiment with DNA determination of naked mole rat . Scientists lowered a hose into the terrarium where the animals were and sucked in air through a filter. A genetic study of the filter, to the surprise of scientists, revealed DNA from naked mole rats on it – the molecules simply flew in the air, and then settled on the filter in an amount sufficient for identification.
After experimenting with rodents, the researchers collected air in the laboratory itself, and they were able to find human DNA in it – their own.
Perhaps the new approach could be used in forensic science.
Even if there are no hair or skin particles left at the crime scene, the criminal’s DNA may still be in the air. However, scientists are urging to treat this application of technology with caution – it cannot be guaranteed that the DNA found in the air will belong to the criminal.
Read “Death of Judge Mrochek” – Alex Joe – Page 8
Security agencies had a description of his acceptance and got to the ball by a thread.It turned out that it was a native of Lodz. During the occupation, he joined the SS, became the commandant of a Jewish concentration camp, where he was distinguished by extraordinary cruelty and sadism. He tortured hundreds of people with his own hands, using the most sophisticated methods. His arrest was a real surprise for me and for all of us. However, he managed to escape the train while being taken to Warsaw. The culprit was not found.
Observing what is happening in the world now, reading the newspapers, I would not be surprised if I heard that this man has surfaced again and became an exemplary burgomaster somewhere in another country… “
Mrocek put the sheets on the table.
– It’s about him! Do you hear, Galinka! Three gold teeth, tall, about forty years old. It’s him.
– Well, not necessarily. She rubbed her eyes, shook her head, chasing away the remnants of sleep. – I think a lot of people have three gold crowns on the upper jaw.
– Not much, considering that this type is strongly associated with Poreba and his uncle.
– Okay, but why exactly would your uncle have to kill him? This is completely pointless… He would be the first person to notify the authorities about the appearance of a criminal. Even if he met him and, having a weapon, shot him, since he, for example, offered resistance, then in this case, why hide? Nobody would have held him accountable. Anyone would have the right to shoot such a Gestapo … I don’t understand.
– Me too. You’re right. You would probably be right if it weren’t for …
– If not for what?
– If that guy hadn’t been lying down there.
– Firstly, it is not known if he is for sure. Secondly, we do not know how he got there, and what is your uncle’s role in this. Third, let’s not jump to conclusions. All this has some kind of consistent logical connection, which we do not see now. Maybe someday we will find out? She lay down, narrowing her eyes. – Lord, how nice it would be if we didn’t come here at all!
It was already getting light outside the window. Mrochek switched the alarm clock again, turned off the lamp and closed his eyes.
5.YOUR WIFE CANNOT SWIM!
In the midst of the silence, a bell rang shrilly somewhere. It was morning outside the window. We woke up at the same time. We lay motionless for a minute. The bell downstairs rang even more shrilly.
– Who could it be? – Anxiety suddenly returned again.
– Probably a thrush … – Galina answered judiciously. She got up, put on a robe and went downstairs. Tadeusz slipped his feet into his slippers and went to the window. It was a fine sunny day over the sea. The garden seemed much smaller and less mysterious than at night.
He listened, but downstairs only the steps of his wife were heard, who began to fuss in the kitchen. He walked away from the window, opened his suitcase, took out an electric shaver, plugged it into a power outlet. Shaved, whistling softly. The measured hum of the razor gradually dispelled yesterday’s mood. Everything seemed much simpler and less disturbing. With his free hand he touched his uncle’s notes, took the top page and began to reread it. The steps creaked. Galina came in, yawning.
– Thrush … – said exhaling.“When I came downstairs, the milk was already on the porch. I lit the stove and put it on the stove. We’ll have coffee in five minutes.
I began to shift the laundry in the suitcase.
– Even if there were a thousand skeletons, – she said, either to herself, or to him, – let’s go swimming! In the end, we didn’t come to the sea to …
– Listen, – he turned off the razor. – What does it smell like? – pulled his nose. – It seems that something is burning below.
– Oh my god! Milk!
When I put the razor in the case, Galina has already returned.
– What happened there? asked without much interest.
– Will you drink black coffee or tea, – spread her hands. “I don’t know how to handle these coal stoves. I thought it only boils so quickly on gas. And it turns out, no. Boiled away to the last drop.
– The best teacher – own experience, – Mrochek resorted to the maxim, taking out a towel and a toothbrush. – I’m going to wash. Let there be tea. There is nothing more disgusting than black coffee in the morning. Disgusting …
Opened a window.A gentle breeze slightly stirred the leaves of the diary of Stanislav Mrocek, a judge from Poręba Morskaya. Galina quickly went to the window and closed it.
“I’ve never been afraid of drafts,” she said without a smile. – But in this house I have some kind of prejudice towards them. Honestly. It is not known what else could happen if the door slams again.
The husband laughed merrily:
– The weather is so good that the guy in the wall seems to me just a fiction …
We had breakfast in a hurry in the kitchen.As if by some unwritten agreement they decided not to look into the office. Then they went out into the garden.
The weather was really wonderful. A light breeze from the sea was refreshing, as the sun was already hot, even though it was early hour. Soon we found ourselves in the place from where they looked at the sea at night. But the little ivy-covered shed was nothing mysterious, and the sun-drenched garden was especially good. Pleased with the abundance of flowers and beautiful shrubs. For Galina, the buried skeleton was a kind of fragment of an evening television program, which disappeared so as not to return, but was memorized by some terrible episode.
Below in front of them, behind a stone wall, or rather, a large rock, which with one edge plunged into the sea, and the other stretched along the sandy shore and disappeared into the dune, naturally fencing off a part of the beach near the house from the neighbors on the left, there was a small motorboat tied to the platform lined on piles.
– Is this ours? – asked Galina and immediately recovered. – Is that your uncle’s boat?
– Yes. As old as the world, but good. My uncle bought it after the war, chose it from all kinds of warehouse leftovers, repaired, adjusted the engine and generally took care of her like a child… It is a pity that I was not with him that morning, when his heart refused to him. Maybe he would still live?
Both fell silent and moved towards the beach.
A huge sandy horseshoe, wherever you looked, was deserted. Only two hundred meters from the Mrochekov a man in black swimming trunks emerged from the water.
“I wouldn’t say that these people appreciate what lies right under their very noses,” said Galina, going down to the sea. Dry sand rustled under her sandals. – Such a wonderful day, and there is not a soul on the beach, only this hermit.
– Local residents, apparently, are going to work or to the market, and summer residents, if they are already here, sleep off. And in general, here, by the sea, there are very few houses, only our only street, and that, in my opinion, is inhabited by elderly people.
Something I have not seen either young people or children … I would live here until the end of my life and would not go anywhere.
– And I …
Putting our clothes near the steps of the platform, we jumped into the boat.
– Can you start it? – stroking the polished handrails, asked Galina.
– Of course. There is nothing complicated here. If only the engine is working properly … There is gasoline. The engine snorted softly. – Untie!
The ropes flew to the platform. Tadeusz moved to the stern and kicked hard. The boat went gently past the piles and swayed in the water.
– Let’s go!
There was a gurgle astern, a frothy fountain shot out, and the motorboat rushed forward. The shore began to recede,
Galina sat down, holding onto the handrail with one hand, and with the other she removed a lock of tousled hair from her forehead.
– Remember that your wife cannot swim! – laughed loudly. – Don’t drown me!
The engine roared harder. The stern settled a little deeper, the nose lifted up.
Thin Grass Eater – Weekend – Kommersant
The Brazilian Tupi Indians called her the Eater (according to another version – the sovereign) of the thin grass. Tupi assimilated to almost complete disappearance, and their language died. But one word of the dead language tupi is still more alive than all living things today, and this word is “capybara”.
Capybara, aka the capybara, or Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris from the mumps family, is the cousin of the common guinea pig, only hypertrophied: even a very well-fed guinea pig weighs one and a half to two kilograms, and the capybara easily steps over 60 kg and becomes the largest living rodent …
First of all, I hasten to reassure people who think environmentally: a capybara in a global sense is not threatened by anything – that is, it does not disappear. However, in nature, she is threatened by a lot, it is not for nothing that, having become a home, she lives almost twice as long as in freedom, that is, for about twelve years.And in their native America, jaguars, anacondas, caimans, wild dogs, ocelots and aborigines enjoy eating a delicious plump capybara. It was the case that the Catholics also loved her, because several hundred years ago in their church the capybara was considered lean, because she is a fish.
In fact, the capybara is a rodent prone to a semi-aquatic lifestyle. And this immediately makes her a difficult pet: only those who are able to provide her with a personal pool have the right to start a capybara, and not with some kind of trough, but with a solid hydraulic structure, in which you can not only stand, but also swim and dive.The capybara also needs to equip an aviary, not only very spacious – the freedom-loving capybara is not at all adapted to life in a cage – but also so warm and humid that it should rather be called a greenhouse. But even if you already have a greenhouse, wait and rejoice: yes, the capybara might like it there. And most of all she may like greenhouse plants, so she will eat them, so in any case you will not have a greenhouse, but there will be an aviary for a giant rodent.
The capybara has a good appetite, food is her favorite pastime.And happiness, in her opinion, is standing up to your throat in warm water and chewing something. In the wild, she chews grass, algae, various roots, tubers, available fruits. Well, having turned into a pet, it will eat about the same, that is, grass, hay, vegetables, fruits, plus ready-made food that is not available in the wild – cat, dog or special, for rodents. In general, feeding a capybara is a simple matter. And inexpensive. And the capybara itself, for all its exoticism, cannot be said to be prohibitively expensive – you can buy it for about a couple of thousand dollars.And this is nothing, especially compared to the cost of setting up an aviary with a swimming pool.
There are rumors that somewhere in the bowels of our metropolis there are people who manage to keep a capybara in an ordinary apartment. That is, they have such a huge guinea pig, but what is it? Only this guinea pig they have to put in the bath from time to time, and for a long time. Yes, it is also possible to live like this, although it is not easy, but such people are easy to understand: the capybara is one of the funniest and most adorable inhabitants of our planet, and for the sake of happiness to have it in the household, many of us would agree to some everyday inconveniences.
Capybara is about a meter and a half in length, 50-60 centimeters in height and 30-60 kilograms in weight, and, to the delight of feminists, females are larger than males. The figure of the capybara looks like a pig – she is plump and plump, so somehow you expect to see a hoof on her legs. In fact, the capybara ends with webbed toes with strong and short claws, which mislead us, portraying hooves quite convincingly.
The capybara also has a tough and seemingly disheveled reddish-gray-brown fur coat, funny rounded ears on the top of the head and eyes shifted to these ears.This is how the capybara is specially designed: it can almost completely submerge itself in the water – and the ears, eyes and nostrils will still stick out above the water. She also has a delightful round ass, on which she pulls, do not consider it harassment, pat, and a funny posture: the front legs of this beast are longer than the hind legs, which gives the impression that the capybara is constantly in a weary half-squat or is about to make a curtsy … In fact, she was not at all tired, it is quite a strong and playful animal, even on land, able to gallop quickly, albeit awkward, but still at a gallop.Well, in the water she is dexterity and elegance itself, and under water, another capybara can sit without breathing for five whole minutes. But this is not the main thing in the capybara.
The main thing in a capybara is her almost square physiognomy and an indescribable expression on her face. Her small, wide-set eyes seemed to narrow their eyes forever in slight contempt, and a slightly arrogant but generally benevolent expression was glued to her face. The capybara seems to say: “Well, well, dear ones, what good fellows you are here!” – but at the same time he thinks about something of his own.The capybara is clearly looking down on the world. But at its core, our regal giant is a phlegmatic creature with an extremely friendly disposition. In addition, it is very sociable: in nature, capybaras live in a team, so in any conditions they directly dream of making friends. Almost anyone is suitable for friends: the capybara usually willingly hugs cats, as best he can, plays with dogs and is very affectionate with people.
Of course, if you bring the capybara to the handle, this fat little angel is able to bite, and it is very good.But these animals do not like to bite, in their vegetarian nature there is no aggression, so I can’t even imagine how a capybara should get it.
Rodents are generally not considered titans of thought, but your capybara will come to your call. And, most likely, she will get used to the toilet – the owners of the capybaras assure that if you put a container with water in a certain place, a neat capybara will instantly realize what’s what, so you just have to change this water in a timely manner. Of course, the capybara remembers its dining place instantly.The capybara also learns to walk on a leash with ease, so that you can walk with her no worse than with a dog, but only in warm weather, she is a tropican.
Capybara can also bark. But she yaps only in moments of excitement and emotional upheaval, which do not happen so often for her, because the capybara is calmness itself.
And the very unpretentiousness: with the exception of the pool and the open-air cage of the greenhouse type, she does not need anything special from you. You don’t need to wash her, she sits in the water all the time.Its long, water-repellent coat does not require any combing, the capybara perfectly looks after itself. And she also grinds off her ever-growing teeth, you just don’t forget to put branches or special stones for rodents on her. True, smart people advise the male capybara to castrate: sometimes, dreaming about all sorts of nonsense, he can begin to pester his own owners, and this is somehow indecent.
And the most important thing: no matter how luxurious aviary you equip her, no matter how wonderful a pool you dug – do not leave her there forever alone.You have to be friends with a capybara! Let her walk around the yard and around the house, let her kiss cats and dogs, roll a parrot on her back, let her climb onto the sofa, let her put her head on your lap. And you scratch her ears and tickle her neck, she likes it, she is very affectionate and affectionate. Or treat her to at least a slice of apple – any offering the capybara accepts with the look as if she is doing you a favor, but she does everything with that look, that is how she is arranged. In fact, she is deeply grateful to you.
She is so meek and glorious that in her presence it is uncomfortable to quarrel, raise her voice, dream of world domination and just be in a bad mood.The capybara will instantly console, cheer and make everyone happy, because she is cute, ridiculous and funny.
90,000 Why does a goldfish turn over and swim upside down?
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A goldfish is an adornment of any aquarium, an eye is involuntarily attracted to it, you want to watch its smooth movements endlessly, but … what to do if it suddenly floated to the surface of the water and turned upside down, because it is considered formidable a sign, a sign of a serious physiological disorder?… Goldfish is not only a very beautiful aquarium fish, but also very sensitive to the slightest changes in habitat conditions: water temperature, its quality, chemical composition, and especially nutrition. If, for example, a swordsman or gourami can more or less adapt to its habitat, in the case when it does not differ much from the natural environment, then ideal conditions must be created for the goldfish. Only then will she live a long, fulfilling life, delighting the eyes of her contemplators.Reasons for the overturning of the goldfish
Reasons why the fish can swim upside down
There are many reasons why a beautiful inhabitant of the aquarium can swim upside down , and in particular this:
• Mycobacteriosis, which is quite a dangerous and incurable disease, expressed in the formation of a pathogenic microflora that destroys the insides of the fish and causes impaired coordination of movements;
• Deformation of the swim bladder.This can happen either as a result of injury when colliding with other inhabitants of the aquarium, which are often quite belligerent and dividing the territory, or in the course of some disease-causing process, usually bacterial cell damage;
• Unbalanced, improper nutrition. On the last point, as the most common cause of the disease of the fish, it is worth dwelling in more detail.
Having decided to buy a goldfish, it is important to thoroughly study all the nuances of its maintenance and breeding first, because inattention to this issue can lead to losses.
Some novice aquarists believe that goldfish can roll over due to the fact that, while absorbing food, they swallow water, as a result, the water outweighs the swim bladder and the fish turns over. But actually it is not.
Goldfish were bred for a long time by genetic selection based on the selection of physiological mutations. And its progenitor is the carp.
It is known that, like a goldfish, carp also loves to collect all kinds of food from the surface of the water – duckweed, small insects, etc. causes internal disturbances.But disturbances can be caused by improper nutrition – a goldfish does not have a stomach, all food instantly enters the intestine and, if it is rich in proteins, is not able to be digested quickly, as a result of which the process of decay begins, the formation of pathogenic microflora, gases, which push the fish to the surface water, as a result of which it can swim belly up. And this is already very dangerous for her.
The gross mistake of novice aquarists is keeping goldfish together with other aquarium fish and feeding them standard protein food.Of course, the golden beauty will not refuse live food – bloodworms and even more so, a tubifex, but live food is a protein that is contraindicated in high dosages for these fussy. It is important here to maintain balance and focus on plant foods that are digested quickly, without bringing such dire consequences. Protein feed carries another danger – obesity. And for fish, obesity is tantamount to injury – in advanced cases, it is no longer possible to correct the situation, and the fish dies.The fact is that with obesity, the liver suffers most of all, which is covered with layers of fat and increases in volume. Failing to cope with its functions, the liver also begins to outweigh the swim bladder, which neither the fish nor the breeder is able to cope with, and as a result, again, turning with its belly upwards is possible.
Dry food is also very harmful, which persists for a long time on the surface of the water, but gradually begins to swell, getting into the intestines, which can also cause internal disturbances and, as a result, overturning.But is it possible to somehow help a sick fish?
Treatment; How to rectify the situation
If the fish only occasionally turns over after eating the wrong food, but after a while returns to its normal position, it is necessary to immediately remove it from other fish and hold it on a starvation diet. After a day or two, you need to give exclusively plant food and in small portions. And only when the problem is resolved, can the isolated fish be returned to the aquarium, not forgetting that the food must be special.Today it will not be difficult to find a balanced special food that will help the goldfish to lead an active and, most importantly, long life.
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The Whole Truth About Fish: They Are As Smart As Monkeys
- Sarah Griffiths
- BBC Earth
Photo Credit, Reinhard / ARCO / naturepl.com
In fish the reputation of mindless creatures has developed, quickly forgetting everything.But do not offend them: they know how to count, find a way out of the labyrinth and even remember human faces.
Reputation: Fish have a short memory, they forget everything literally after a few seconds. All they do is swim aimlessly back and forth, waiting to be someone’s dinner.
Actually: These slippery creatures are in some ways as smart as monkeys. They are able to remember certain things for years and orientate in space better than people.
Photo by Steven David Miller / naturepl.com
Blue (flag) surgeon (Paracanthurus hepatus)
We shouldn’t look down on them. The oceans are home to 250,000 species of fish, varying in color and behavior, and yet most of us treat them as one dumb creature.
Perhaps the origins of this unconscious bias lie in an outdated view of how evolution works.
Culham Brown of Macquarie University (Sydney, Australia), one of the editors of the Journal of Fish Biology, believes that many consider fish to be primitive creatures and do not even know how smart they are.
“In fact, most of the fish species on our planet today have gone through about the same development cycle as humans,” he emphasizes.
It is also possible that we underestimate the cognitive abilities of fish also because they live in an environment that is very different from ours. Various children’s films support us in this misconception.
Or maybe it’s just more convenient for us to consider the fish as a being who understands nothing and does not feel anything, so as not to suffer from remorse when we look at the aquariums in the fish departments of grocery stores.
Dory, a blue fish surgeon with memory lapses, admits in a popular cartoon that she forgets what she saw almost instantly.
However, the common misconception that fish memory is limited to three seconds is completely destroyed by the experiments of animal behavior specialists.
Photo by Alex Mustard / naturepl.com
Goldfish (Carassius auratus)
A modest aquarium goldfish keeps events in memory for up to three months, and even knows what time it is.
In a 1994 study, scientists trained goldfish to push a lever to receive a reward – and this could only be done for one hour a day.
Goldfish have been able to understand how narrow this window of opportunity is, demonstrating that they can keep track of time.
However, the owners of aquariums with goldfish are not surprised by this, they know what their pets are capable of. According to the study’s author Phil Gee of the University of Plymouth, UK, the fact that fish know when to wait for feeding “gives them a significant evolutionary advantage.”
Culham Brown notes in a study published in 2001 that many fish are able to remember the details of an event for quite some time. For example, the aquarium fish melanothenia duboulayi, or iris ( Melanotaenia duboulayi ) for about 11 months can remember the way to escape from danger.
“Many aspects of their cognitive abilities are in no way inferior to those of terrestrial animals, and in some cases fish are even ahead,” says Brown.
Photo by Reinhard / ARCO / naturepl.com
Guppies (Poecilia reticulata)
Guppies ( Poecilia reticulata ) can find their way out of the maze, which consists of six consecutive forks. According to a study published in February 2017, these popular aquarists not only learn to find their way out, but do it faster and more accurately over the course of five days of training.
The performance of the fish is amazing and comparable to that of the rat, says the main author of the study, Tyrone Lucon-Ziccato of the University of Padua, Italy.
“Rodents, it would seem, should be leaders in such tasks, since their evolution proceeded in holes, in conditions of existence close to a labyrinth. Fish live in completely different conditions, and you cannot expect them to successfully overcome the labyrinth.”
Guppy fish may have developed the ability to navigate when they lived in the wild, he says, where they need to navigate quickly to avoid many obstacles in fast-flowing streams.
Photo by Visuals Unlimited / naturepl.com
Astianax Mexican, or “blind fish” (Astyanax fasciatus mexicanus)
Fish, like mammals, have an excellent sense of space. They use incoming information – for example, hydrostatic pressure – in order to get an optimal position in three-dimensional space, a 2016 study showed.
Teresa Bert de Perera of the University of Oxford says that fish are capable of transforming information into three-dimensional images, while animals and humans living on land have difficulties with vertical measurement.
Unlike, say, rats, fish accurately estimate vertical distance.
According to Brown, fish are superior to humans in their ability to judge depth.
According to some preliminary evidence, fish have something akin to “site neurons”.
These neurons, found in rats, are thought to draw a kind of neural map of the area for mammals.
In fish, neurons are located in an area of their brain that can be considered the equivalent of the human hippocampus.
Pisces can use them to memorize their surroundings.
In addition to the ability to navigate, fish have another unusual quality: they can use tools, tools – a skill that was previously believed to be possessed only by humans.
Photo by Juan Manuel Borrero / naturepl.com
Brazilian Geophagus (Geophagus brasiliensis)
Saltwater wrasse fish is capable of breaking sea urchins against rocks to get their meat.South American cichlids and catfish tarakatum ( Hoplosternum thoracatum ) glue their eggs to leaves and small pebbles in order to drag these mobile nurseries to another place in case of danger.
Perhaps one of the most amazing fish in this sense is the archer ( Toxotes chatareus ), which uses water as a weapon or tool. This fish shoots out of its mouth like a water pistol to shoot down insects flying over the water. In doing so, it even takes into account the refraction of light.
Stefan Schuster from the University of Bayreuth (Germany) is a leading sprayer specialist. He was able to demonstrate that juvenile archers learn how to hunt by observing the actions of older and more experienced individuals, even though they lack the neocortex (the area of the cerebral cortex that in mammals carries out the highest level of brain coordination and, among other things, is responsible for vision – Note translator ).
After the released jet knocks down the prey, the archer estimates exactly where its victim should fall, and rushes there at high speed to get ahead of the competition.Such a rather complex decision may take him as little as 40 milliseconds.
In a sense, the archer carries out ballistic calculations. But, of course, on an intuitive level – in much the same way as a good football player quickly makes an accurate pass, determining at what point on the field his partner will receive the ball.
Photo author, Kim Taylor / naturepl.com
Spitters on the hunt (Toxotes chatareus)
In addition, it turned out that splatters can distinguish human faces (previously it was believed that only primates are capable of this).
According to a 2016 study, they can find a familiar face among 44 new faces. The researchers tried to get the fish to release a jet of water every time they saw a familiar human face. In 89% of cases, the sprayers were not wrong.
“The fact that the sprayers were able to accomplish this task suggests that you don’t need a complex brain to recognize a person’s face,” says study author Keith Newport of the University of Oxford.
Phil Gee of the University of Plymouth notes that goldfish may also recognize their owners, but there is no scientific confirmation of this yet.
In nature, goldfish live in murky waters, where it makes no sense to rely on sight to the same extent that sprinklers rely on it.
But on the other hand, just like birds, fish are able to see the difference in numbers.
Photo by Jane Burton / naturepl.com
Fish are not nearly as forgetful as it is believed
In a 2013 study, scientists found that newborn guppies can distinguish one group from another by the number of objects.
Fish often try to avoid encounters with predators by getting out in shallow water. Several studies have shown that in an unfamiliar location, fish choose from two shallows, a large one.
Agrillo believes that fish are as adept at quantifying as birds and mammals. If this is true, then our abilities may go back as far as the time when the division into fish and land vertebrates took place on Earth – and this happened, scientists believe, about 450 million years ago.
And one more thing: fish are capable of cooperation, even with representatives of other species.
Photo author, Brandon Cole / naturepl.com
Giant moray (Gymnothorax javanicus)
Coral bass ( Plectropomus pessuliferus ) and coral trout ( Plectropomus from time to time are combined with giant moray eels) Gymnothorax javanicus ) to hunt together the prey that hides in shallow crevices under the water.
Coral trout and perch shake their heads, inviting moray eels to hunt.
In a 2014 study, biologists showed that coral trout quickly learn how to identify the most effective moray eel hunter. As a result, the probability that a trout will choose just such a moray eel is three times higher than the probability of choosing a loser moray eel.
This experiment “supports the hypothesis that relatively small brains – compared to warm-blooded animals – do not prevent some fish from having cognitive abilities that are comparable or even superior to those of monkeys,” says study author Alexander Weil of the University of Cambridge.