you tell what animal left the scat? Roll your
mouse over the image for the answer or scroll
scat has wing coverings from beetles and other
large insect parts. We broke the scat apart and
it is pictured left.
2: This scat is loaded with small clear wings.
The animal(s) that left this scat eats small flying
1: Woodhouse's Toad
2: Little Brown Bat
The Can You
Guess It?? photo was from Photo 1: Woodhouse's
you are tracking an animal while out hiking with your
family or trying to figure out what type of animal is
visiting your backyard, make sure you consider more
than footprints. Take note of any food left behind by
the animal, look for scat, tail marks, claw marks, burrows-tunnels-trails
through the yard.
(animal excrement) can tell us a lot of information
about an animal. You can figure out the type of animal
by the size, shape and consistency of the scat. Scat
tells us where an animal has been and what it has been
eating. Animals deposit scat where they rest or pause
where they feel safe so that tells us we may be able
to find the animal there again.
you decide to examine scat, avoid handling it with your
hands. When picking apart scat or pellets use a stick
or disposable gloves. When you break apart the scat
take note of hulls of seeds, skins of berries, and bits
of leaves. This suggests the animal is a vegetarian.
Small bones, fur, and feathers appear in the scat of
meat eaters. Insect wings and other insect body parts
tells you the animal feeds on insects.
tends to dry from the outside in. If it is completely
dry, you know the animal passed by some time ago. Moist
scat was left more recently. The animal may be near.
scat above (shown as Photo 1: above right) was full
of beetle wing coverings and other large insect parts.
It is scat from a Woodhouse's Toad ("common"
Resources for More Information:
Photos: Vicki Jedlicka, Extension Assistant, University
of Nebraska Cooperative Extension in Lancaster County
Woodhouse's Toad Photo: Vicki Jedlicka, Extension Assistant,
University of Nebraska Cooperative Extension in Lancaster
Brown Bat Photo - Phil Myers (photographer, copyright_holder),
Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan