Nature, Science

Secrets of the Unsaid


The Science of Animal Poo!
Follow wildlife biologist Scott Burnett, aka Scat Man, as he looks for the facts in the faeces of endangered species!
Scat is the word biologists use for animal poo. It’s pure gold for researchers. A window into ecology without having to harm an animal – or a scientist.

In ‘Secrets of the Unsaid’, Scat Man meets other scat scientists around the world, gets to investigate some amazing s–t, unravel its secrets, and meet the makers. A wombat that poos cubes; a giant bird with a plant nursery in its excrement; whales that evacuate iridescent mega scat, a swarm of krill that poo en masse and a rhinoceros with its own Facebook page made of dung.

The journey begins at the bottom of Australia. On a windswept island, Scat Man finds himself overwhelmed by massive piles of cubed poo; the unique scat of the bare-nosed wombat. He finds out how they make them, but why? With wombat expert Scott Carver, he searches for the answer. The truth begins to merge when they record a wombat in the act – a world first.

In Assam, India, Scat Man digs deep into a Facebook page for pachyderms. The one horned rhino’s pooing habits are very similar to the wombats’ but not as neat. But their large unruly poo piles are more than just a place to pick up gossip.

Off the coast of Sri Lanka Scat Man tracks pygmy blue whales with marine biologist Asha De Vos, also known as ‘The Poop Lady’. The whales are awe-inspiring. But it’s their massive bright orange scat they seek. From it they will unlock the secrets of whale behaviour and its role in keeping the ocean healthy.

Scat Man meets the animals that keep the whales alive, the krill, in the world’s only krill research lab. He joins chemical engineer Abbie Smith to conduct an experiment on a single strand of krill scat. Turns out krill may play an even greater role in the health of the oceans than the whale.

Finally, Scat Man enters the dense tropical forests of Queensland to track the southern cassowary, affectionately known as the dinosaur bird. Its scat is brimming with a nursery of seeds ready to sprout. Here Scat Man joins colleague Andrew Dennis to find out if those seeds can help save the threatened tropical forests of Queensland. Scat Man does his own bit to keep the forests alive. It’s not what you think.

This is fun, engaging, serious science. With committed scientists, enigmatic animals and their breathtaking homes. A journey with Scat Man. He’ll take you where few people dare to tread.