January 19, 2014 at 9:10 pm , by Nick Shell
3 years, 2 months.
Disclaimer/incentive to read this: May contain unintentional potty humor of a 3 year-old.
On the way to school Friday morning, you broke about 5 minutes worth of silence to announce:
“Tigers have tails, so they don’t poop. And pandas, too. They have tails but they don’t really like to poop. But pandas are not bears.”
I should point out here that you weren’t trying to be funny… you were completely serious, not smiling at all. Your tone was very informative.
As I listened to you teach me about the bathroom preferences of animals, I began (privately) processing your logic.
I began thinking about how if pandas specifically don’t like to poop, does that mean other animals enjoy it?
Also, I tried to make a connection between having a tail and not pooping. Why would having a tail affect that?
I began wondering about the alternative- where would the food go that animals eat?
Does the tail serve as a bit of a trap door to keep it all in?
This thought process occurred during an intensive 8 second period, before I decided to ask you a follow-up question:
What about fish?
“Fish have tails in the water, so they don’t poop,” you quickly answered.
For the first couple of hours of the day after I dropped you off at school, I was trying to think of animals that don’t have tails. No luck.
Finally, I Googled “animals that don’t have tails,” to find out the few exceptions to the rule.
Here’s the list of animals I found, according to the Internet, that don’t have tails:
Frogs (though they do when they are young), gorillas, apes, chimpanzees, orangutans, octopuses, clams, and starfish. Plus, certain spiders and insects; depending on a person’s definition of “animal.”
So if you rule out marine life, too, it’s pretty much certain primates that don’t have tails. I never realized so few animals, mammals in particular, have no tail.
Basically, your logic says that because humans don’t have tails, that’s why they poop.
In my 32 years on this planet, I’ve never thought how few animals have tails. I must thank you, Son, for bringing this to my attention.
Of course, you’re using the “tail concept” to say that’s why most animals don’t poop.
If only you had a tail, potty training would be a lot easier… according to your logic, at least!
Note: This is an opinion piece of the author (and his son) and does not reflect the scientific community. For example, panda bears really are bears; it’s red pandas that are not.
Photo Sources- Shutterstock.com:
Young Sumatran Tiger Walking.
Giant Panda Bear In Tree.
Old Silverback Chimpanzee.
(Memes created by Nick Shell.)