Where is Pumbaa When We Need Him?

Maybe I’ve spent too much time around teenage boys, but an April 6, 2018 podcast segment of the NPR program Science Friday got my attention — an interview with Nick Caruso and Dani Rabaiotti, authors of Does It Fart? The Definitive Field Guide to Animal Flatulence.

Yes, this is serious science.  Specifically, it’s called “flatology” — the study of flatulence ( https://glosbe.com/en/en/flatology).  You might be surprised to learn that not all animals fart; dogs do,  millipedes do, dinosaurs did.  Octopuses don’t, and we’re not really sure about spiders.

And since I’ve gone this far, does this include warthogs?  A quick Google search was inconclusive.  But I did find a list of “The Top Ten Farting Animals”  ( http://kkcb.com/the-top-ten-farting-animals-including-us/ ).  Pumbaa notwithstanding, warthogs aren’t on the list.  But “Vegetarian Humans” are number eight, and “Non-Vegetarian Humans” come in ninth.  The number one farting animal?  Termites!

I told you this was serious science!

You can listen to the 25-minute segment for yourself at https://www.sciencefriday.com/segments/the-internet-asks-does-it-fart-and-science-answers/.

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