Why Do Animals—Including Your Dog—Eat Poop?
Most snack on feces because it contains some undigested food—and thus vital nutrients—that would otherwise go to waste, experts say.
With so many nice things to eat in the world, why would any animal look at the menu and order a number two?
For Saturday's Weird Animal Question of the Week, we're answering Manuela Castro, who asked via Facebook, "Why do animals eat their own feces?"
Coprophagia is the term for an animal eating excrement—both their own and that of others. Dung beetles, rabbits, chimps, and domestic dogs are among animals that are members of the dung diners' club. Most of them eat feces because it contains some undigested food—and thus vital nutrients—that would otherwise go to waste.
"I think lagomorphs [the group that includes rabbits] are the most interesting feces eaters," Kevin Hunt, an anthropologist at Indiana University in