Grizzly bears, dogs and even cockroaches fart. Do sea anemones? Nope. As for spiders, no one knows.
Photo: bertknot/Ryan Mandelbaum (Flickr)
Daniella Rabaiotti and Nick Caruso's new book, Does It Fart?, is illustrated by Ethan Kocak and debuts today on Kindle. The book lists a number of animals, answers the titular question, and offers some insight into animal digestion. Like many silly ideas, it all started with a tweet - but it's all real science, we promise!
@AlongsideWild a family member asked me the other day if snakes fart and i did not know the answer to their question. So do they? ????????
— Dani Rabaiotti (@DaniRabaiotti) January 8, 2017
"There's a lot we don't know about animal farts, and that means a lot we don't know about animal digestion," Rabaiotti, a PhD student at University College London and the Zoological Society of London, told Gizmodo. "It's hopefully a lighthearted way to learn a lot of cool stuff you might not have known about animals."
The book started with Rabaiotti's tweet, which soon became an editable spreadsheet with the help of Caruso, a hashtag (#DoesItFart), and even a Gizmodo story. But this is a book which means it's, well, more than a tweet. For example, did you know that:
- Blue whales have very large farts, very likely the largest in volume of any species. But these expulsions have only been caught on camera a few times.
- Millipedes release much tinier toots. Their simple digestive tract contains methane-producing bacteria to aid in processing food. Tropical millipede species produce more gas than non-tropical species, since they're bigger.
- And sea cucumbers don't fart, but there are species of pearlfish that live (and feed) on their genitalia.
Rabaiotti isn't worried about what a fart book might do to her professional career. In fact, she's writing another book soon. She told Gizmodo: "It might be loosely poop-themed."