Why This Animal's Pee Smells Like Hot Buttered Popcorn
Southeast Asia's bearcat has a movie-theater aroma, but it's not the only animal that smells like snack foods.
Whether we like things sweet or spicy, we all have our favorite snacks. And strangely enough, a few wild animals have smells that strongly resemble these foods.
That's why Weird Animal Question of the Week took author's prerogative to ask: Which animals smell like the treats at a movie concession stand? (See: "Beaver Butts Emit Goo Used for Vanilla Flavoring.")
When a binturong urinates, the liquid soaks its feet and fuzzy tails, leaving a scent trail that lets other binturongs know their presence and perhaps their sex, since the compound is stronger in males.
The chemical compound 2-AP is the same substance that gives fresh popcorn its yummy smell, according to the scientists. When a popcorn kernel is heated, the proteins and sugars create a chemical reaction that in turn forms 2-AP.
In the case of the binturong, researchers think the compound may be produced