Feces

Feces

Overview
Feces, faeces, or fæces (see spelling differences
American and British English spelling differences
One of the ways in which American English and British English differ is in spelling.-Historical origins:In the early 18th century, English spelling was not standardized. Differences became noticeable after the publishing of influential dictionaries...

) is a waste product from an animal's digestive tract
Gastrointestinal tract
The human gastrointestinal tract refers to the stomach and intestine, and sometimes to all the structures from the mouth to the anus. ....

 expelled through the anus
Anus
The anus is an opening at the opposite end of an animal's digestive tract from the mouth. Its function is to control the expulsion of feces, unwanted semi-solid matter produced during digestion, which, depending on the type of animal, may be one or more of: matter which the animal cannot digest,...

 or cloaca
Cloaca
In zoological anatomy, a cloaca is the posterior opening that serves as the only such opening for the intestinal, reproductive, and urinary tracts of certain animal species...

 during defecation
Defecation
Defecation is the final act of digestion by which organisms eliminate solid, semisolid or liquid waste material from the digestive tract via the anus. Waves of muscular contraction known as peristalsis in the walls of the colon move fecal matter through the digestive tract towards the rectum...

.

The word faeces is the plural of the Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 word fæx meaning "dregs". There is no singular form in the English language, making it a plurale tantum
Plurale tantum
A plurale tantum is a noun that appears only in the plural form and does not have a singular variant for referring to a single object...

.
There are many colloquial terms for feces, of which some are considered profanity
Profanity
Profanity is a show of disrespect, or a desecration or debasement of someone or something. Profanity can take the form of words, expressions, gestures, or other social behaviors that are socially constructed or interpreted as insulting, rude, vulgar, obscene, desecrating, or other forms.The...

 (such as shit
Shit
Shit is usually considered vulgar and profane in Modern English. As a noun it refers to fecal matter and as a verb it means to defecate or defecate in; in the plural it means diarrhea...

and crap) while others (such as poo, poop, number two, doodoo, dookie and doody) are not.
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Encyclopedia
Feces, faeces, or fæces (see spelling differences
American and British English spelling differences
One of the ways in which American English and British English differ is in spelling.-Historical origins:In the early 18th century, English spelling was not standardized. Differences became noticeable after the publishing of influential dictionaries...

) is a waste product from an animal's digestive tract
Gastrointestinal tract
The human gastrointestinal tract refers to the stomach and intestine, and sometimes to all the structures from the mouth to the anus. ....

 expelled through the anus
Anus
The anus is an opening at the opposite end of an animal's digestive tract from the mouth. Its function is to control the expulsion of feces, unwanted semi-solid matter produced during digestion, which, depending on the type of animal, may be one or more of: matter which the animal cannot digest,...

 or cloaca
Cloaca
In zoological anatomy, a cloaca is the posterior opening that serves as the only such opening for the intestinal, reproductive, and urinary tracts of certain animal species...

 during defecation
Defecation
Defecation is the final act of digestion by which organisms eliminate solid, semisolid or liquid waste material from the digestive tract via the anus. Waves of muscular contraction known as peristalsis in the walls of the colon move fecal matter through the digestive tract towards the rectum...

.

Etymology


The word faeces is the plural of the Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 word fæx meaning "dregs". There is no singular form in the English language, making it a plurale tantum
Plurale tantum
A plurale tantum is a noun that appears only in the plural form and does not have a singular variant for referring to a single object...

.
There are many colloquial terms for feces, of which some are considered profanity
Profanity
Profanity is a show of disrespect, or a desecration or debasement of someone or something. Profanity can take the form of words, expressions, gestures, or other social behaviors that are socially constructed or interpreted as insulting, rude, vulgar, obscene, desecrating, or other forms.The...

 (such as shit
Shit
Shit is usually considered vulgar and profane in Modern English. As a noun it refers to fecal matter and as a verb it means to defecate or defecate in; in the plural it means diarrhea...

and crap) while others (such as poo, poop, number two, doodoo, dookie and doody) are not. Terms such as dung, scat, spoor and droppings are normally used to refer to animal feces.

Stool is a common term normally used in reference to human feces
Human feces
Human feces , also known as a stool, is the waste product of the human digestive system including bacteria. It varies significantly in appearance, according to the state of the digestive system, diet and general health....

. For example, in medicine
Medicine
Medicine is the science and art of healing. It encompasses a variety of health care practices evolved to maintain and restore health by the prevention and treatment of illness....

 to diagnose the presence or absence of a medical condition, a stool sample is sometimes requested for testing purposes. The term "stool" can also be used for that of non-human species.

Ecology




After an animal has digested eaten material, the remains of that material are expelled from its body as waste. Though it is lower in energy than the food it came from, feces may still contain a large amount of energy, often 50% of that of the original food. This means that of all food eaten, a significant amount of energy remains for the decomposers of ecosystems. Many organisms feed on feces, from bacteria to fungi to insects such as dung beetle
Dung beetle
Dung beetles are beetles that feed partly or exclusively on feces. All of these species belong to the superfamily Scarabaeoidea; most of them to the subfamilies Scarabaeinae and Aphodiinae of the family Scarabaeidae. This beetle can also be referred to as the scarab beetle. As most species of...

s, which can sense
Sensory system
A sensory system is a part of the nervous system responsible for processing sensory information. A sensory system consists of sensory receptors, neural pathways, and parts of the brain involved in sensory perception. Commonly recognized sensory systems are those for vision, hearing, somatic...

 odors from long distances. Some may specialize in feces, while others may eat other foods as well. Feces serve not only as a basic food, but also a supplement to the usual diet of some animals. This is known as coprophagia
Coprophagia
Coprophagia or coprophagy is the consumption of feces, from the Greek κόπρος copros and φαγεῖν phagein . Many animal species practice coprophagia as a matter of course; other species do not normally consume feces but may do so under unusual conditions...

, and occurs in various animal species such as young elephants eating their mother's feces to gain essential gut flora
Gut flora
Gut flora consists of microorganisms that live in the digestive tracts of animals and is the largest reservoir of human flora. In this context, gut is synonymous with intestinal, and flora with microbiota and microflora....

, or by other animals such as dogs, rabbits, and monkeys.

Feces and urine, which reflect ultraviolet
Ultraviolet
Ultraviolet light is electromagnetic radiation with a wavelength shorter than that of visible light, but longer than X-rays, in the range 10 nm to 400 nm, and energies from 3 eV to 124 eV...

 light, are important to raptors such as Kestrel
Kestrel
The name kestrel, is given to several different members of the falcon genus, Falco. Kestrels are most easily distinguished by their typical hunting behaviour which is to hover at a height of around over open country and swoop down on prey, usually small mammals, lizards or large insects...

s, which are able to locate their prey by their midden
Midden
A midden, is an old dump for domestic waste which may consist of animal bone, human excrement, botanical material, vermin, shells, sherds, lithics , and other artifacts and ecofacts associated with past human occupation...

s and territorial markers.

Seed
Seed
A seed is a small embryonic plant enclosed in a covering called the seed coat, usually with some stored food. It is the product of the ripened ovule of gymnosperm and angiosperm plants which occurs after fertilization and some growth within the mother plant...

s may also be found in feces. Animals which eat fruit
Fruit
In broad terms, a fruit is a structure of a plant that contains its seeds.The term has different meanings dependent on context. In non-technical usage, such as food preparation, fruit normally means the fleshy seed-associated structures of certain plants that are sweet and edible in the raw state,...

 are known as frugivore
Frugivore
A frugivore is a fruit eater. It can be any type of herbivore or omnivore where fruit is a preferred food type. Because approximately 20% of all mammalian herbivores also eat fruit, frugivory is considered to be common among mammals. Since frugivores eat a lot of fruit they are highly dependent...

s. The advantage for a plant in having fruit is that animals will eat the fruit and unknowingly disperse the seed in doing so. This mode of seed dispersal
Seed dispersal
Seed dispersal is the movement or transport of seeds away from the parent plant. Plants have limited mobility and consequently rely upon a variety of dispersal vectors to transport their propagules, including both abiotic and biotic vectors. Seeds can be dispersed away from the parent plant...

 is highly successful, as seeds dispersed around the base of a plant are unlikely to succeed and are often subject to heavy predation
Seed predation
Seed predation, often referred to as granivory, is a type of plant-animal interaction in which granivores feed on the seeds of plants as a main or exclusive food source, in many cases leaving the seeds damaged and not viable...

. Provided the seed can withstand the pathway through the digestive system, it is not only likely to be far away from the parent plant, but is even provided with its own fertilizer.

Organisms which subsist on dead organic matter or detritus
Detritus
Detritus is a biological term used to describe dead or waste organic material.Detritus may also refer to:* Detritus , a geological term used to describe the particles of rock produced by weathering...

are known as detritivore
Detritivore
Detritivores, also known as detritophages or detritus feeders or detritus eaters or saprophages, are heterotrophs that obtain nutrients by consuming detritus . By doing so, they contribute to decomposition and the nutrient cycles...

s, and play an important role in ecosystems by recycling organic matter back into a simpler form which plants and other autotroph
Autotroph
An autotroph, or producer, is an organism that produces complex organic compounds from simple inorganic molecules using energy from light or inorganic chemical reactions . They are the producers in a food chain, such as plants on land or algae in water...

s may once again absorb. This cycling of matter is known as the biogeochemical cycle
Biogeochemical cycle
In ecology and Earth science, a biogeochemical cycle or substance turnover or cycling of substances is a pathway by which a chemical element or molecule moves through both biotic and abiotic compartments of Earth. A cycle is a series of change which comes back to the starting point and which can...

. To maintain nutrients in soil it is therefore important that feces return to the area from which they came, which is not always the case in human society where food may be transported from rural areas to urban populations and then feces disposed of into a river or sea.

Human feces


In humans, defecation may occur (depending on the individual and the circumstances) from once every two or three days to several times a day. Extensive hardening of the feces may cause prolonged interruption in the routine and is called constipation
Constipation
Constipation refers to bowel movements that are infrequent or hard to pass. Constipation is a common cause of painful defecation...

.

Human
Human
Humans are the only living species in the Homo genus...

 fecal matter varies significantly in appearance, depending on diet and health. Normally it is semisolid, with a mucus
Mucus
In vertebrates, mucus is a slippery secretion produced by, and covering, mucous membranes. Mucous fluid is typically produced from mucous cells found in mucous glands. Mucous cells secrete products that are rich in glycoproteins and water. Mucous fluid may also originate from mixed glands, which...

 coating. Its brown coloration comes from a combination of bile
Bile
Bile or gall is a bitter-tasting, dark green to yellowish brown fluid, produced by the liver of most vertebrates, that aids the process of digestion of lipids in the small intestine. In many species, bile is stored in the gallbladder and upon eating is discharged into the duodenum...

 and bilirubin
Bilirubin
Bilirubin is the yellow breakdown product of normal heme catabolism. Heme is found in hemoglobin, a principal component of red blood cells. Bilirubin is excreted in bile and urine, and elevated levels may indicate certain diseases...

, which comes from dead red blood cells.

In newborn babies, fecal matter is initially yellow/green after the meconium
Meconium
Meconium is the earliest stools of an infant. Unlike later feces, meconium is composed of materials ingested during the time the infant spends in the uterus: intestinal epithelial cells, lanugo, mucus, amniotic fluid, bile, and water. Meconium is almost sterile, unlike later feces, is viscous and...

. This coloration comes from the presence of bile
Bile
Bile or gall is a bitter-tasting, dark green to yellowish brown fluid, produced by the liver of most vertebrates, that aids the process of digestion of lipids in the small intestine. In many species, bile is stored in the gallbladder and upon eating is discharged into the duodenum...

 alone. In time, as the body starts expelling bilirubin from dead red blood cells, it acquires its familiar brown appearance, unless the baby is breast feeding, in which case it remains soft, pale yellowish, and not completely malodorous until the baby begins to eat significant amounts of other food.

Throughout the life of an ordinary human, one may experience many types of feces. A "green" stool is from rapid transit of feces through the intestines (or the consumption of certain blue or green food dyes in quantity), and "clay-like" appearance to the feces is the result of a lack of bilirubin.

Bile
Bile
Bile or gall is a bitter-tasting, dark green to yellowish brown fluid, produced by the liver of most vertebrates, that aids the process of digestion of lipids in the small intestine. In many species, bile is stored in the gallbladder and upon eating is discharged into the duodenum...

 overload is very rare, and not a health threat. Problems as simple as serious diarrhea
Diarrhea
Diarrhea , also spelled diarrhoea, is the condition of having three or more loose or liquid bowel movements per day. It is a common cause of death in developing countries and the second most common cause of infant deaths worldwide. The loss of fluids through diarrhea can cause dehydration and...

 can cause blood in one's stool. Black stools caused by blood usually indicate a problem in the intestines (the black is digested blood), whereas red streaks of blood in stool are usually caused by bleeding in the rectum or anus.

Food may sometimes make an appearance in the feces. Common undigested foods found in human feces are seeds, nuts, corn and beans, mainly because of their high dietary fiber
Dietary fiber
Dietary fiber, dietary fibre, or sometimes roughage is the indigestible portion of plant foods having two main components:* soluble fiber that is readily fermented in the colon into gases and physiologically active byproducts, and* insoluble fiber that is metabolically inert, absorbing water as it...

 content. Beets may turn feces different hues of red. Artificial food coloring in some processed foods such as highly colorful packaged breakfast cereals can also cause unusual feces coloring if eaten in sufficient quantities.

Laboratory examination of feces, usually termed as stool examination or stool test
Stool test
A stool test is one where fecal matter is collected for analysis to diagnose the presence or absence of a medical condition.-Fecal occult blood test:...

, is done for the sake of diagnosis, for example, to detect presence of parasites such as pinworm
Pinworm
The pinworm , also known as threadworm or seatworm, is a nematode and a common human intestinal parasite, especially in children...

s and/or their eggs (ova) or to detect disease spreading bacteria.

Personal hygiene


Cultures employ a variety of personal cleansing practicing after elimination.
  • In Western
    Western culture
    Western culture, sometimes equated with Western civilization or European civilization, refers to cultures of European origin and is used very broadly to refer to a heritage of social norms, ethical values, traditional customs, religious beliefs, political systems, and specific artifacts and...

     and East Asia
    East Asia
    East Asia or Eastern Asia is a subregion of Asia that can be defined in either geographical or cultural terms...

    n societies, the use of toilet paper
    Toilet paper
    Toilet paper is a soft paper product used to maintain personal hygiene after human defecation or urination. However, it can also be used for other purposes such as blowing one's nose when one has a cold or absorbing common spills around the house, although paper towels are more used for the latter...

     is widespread. Other paper products were also used before the advent of flush toilets.
  • Some Europe
    Europe
    Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

    an countries use a bidet
    Bidet
    A bidet is a low-mounted plumbing fixture or type of sink intended for washing the genitalia, inner buttocks, and anus. It was originally a French word.-History:...

     for additional cleaning.
  • In South Asia
    South Asia
    South Asia, also known as Southern Asia, is the southern region of the Asian continent, which comprises the sub-Himalayan countries and, for some authorities , also includes the adjoining countries to the west and the east...

     and Southeast Asia
    Southeast Asia
    Southeast Asia, South-East Asia, South East Asia or Southeastern Asia is a subregion of Asia, consisting of the countries that are geographically south of China, east of India, west of New Guinea and north of Australia. The region lies on the intersection of geological plates, with heavy seismic...

    , showers are provided for use in toilets.
  • In Islam
    Islam
    Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

    , washing of the anus with water using the left hand is part of the prescribed ritual ablutions.
  • In India
    India
    India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

    , the anus is also washed with water using the left hand.
  • In the United Kingdom
    United Kingdom
    The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

    , the Indian toilet
    Squat toilet
    A squat toilet is a toilet used by squatting, rather than sitting. There are several types of squat toilets, but they all consist essentially of a hole in the ground...

     was adapted as the "WC" (water closet) and widely deployed in England
    England
    England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

     during the reign of Queen Victoria. London suffered numerous outbreaks of food poisoning resulting from workers handling food after using the toilet. Cleansing of the anus was an arbitrary practice left to personal choice and facilities available.
  • In Ancient Rome
    Ancient Rome
    Ancient Rome was a thriving civilization that grew on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to one of the largest empires in the ancient world....

    , a communal sponge was employed. It was rinsed in a bucket of salt water after use.
  • In Japan
    Japan
    Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

    , flat sticks were used in ancient times, being replaced by toilet paper as the country became more Westernized. Toilets that include built-in bidets have now become widely popular in private homes; these can be very sophisticated appliances, allowing users to adjust the temperature, direction and force of water jets, and offering warm air to dry the anus and surrounding regions. The toilet flushes automatically when the buttocks leave the seat.

Health issues


Consistency and shape of stools may be classified medically according to the Bristol Stool Scale
Bristol Stool Scale
The Bristol Stool Scale or Bristol Stool Chart is a medical aid designed to classify the form of human faeces into seven categories. Sometimes referred to in the UK as the "Meyers Scale", it was developed by Dr. Ken Heaton at the University of Bristol and was first published in the Scandinavian...

.

Pica
Pica (disorder)
Pica is characterized by an appetite for substances largely non-nutritive . For these actions to be considered pica, they must persist for more than one month at an age where eating such objects is considered developmentally inappropriate...

, a disorder where non-food items are eaten, can cause unusual stool.

Intestinal parasite
Intestinal parasite
Intestinal parasites are parasites that populate the gastro-intestinal tract in humans and other animals. They can live throughout the body, but most prefer the intestinal wall. Means of exposure include: ingestion of undercooked meat, drinking infected water, and skin absorption...

s and their ova
Ovum
An ovum is a haploid female reproductive cell or gamete. Both animals and embryophytes have ova. The term ovule is used for the young ovum of an animal, as well as the plant structure that carries the female gametophyte and egg cell and develops into a seed after fertilization...

 (eggs) can sometimes be visible to the naked eye
Naked eye
The naked eye is a figure of speech referring to human visual perception unaided by a magnifying or light-collecting optical device, such as a telescope or microscope. Vision corrected to normal acuity using corrective lenses is considered "naked"...

.

Odor



The distinctive odor
Odor
An odor or odour is caused by one or more volatilized chemical compounds, generally at a very low concentration, that humans or other animals perceive by the sense of olfaction. Odors are also commonly called scents, which can refer to both pleasant and unpleasant odors...

 of feces is due to bacterial action. Gut flora
Gut flora
Gut flora consists of microorganisms that live in the digestive tracts of animals and is the largest reservoir of human flora. In this context, gut is synonymous with intestinal, and flora with microbiota and microflora....

 produce compounds such as indole
Indole
Indole is an aromatic heterocyclic organic compound. It has a bicyclic structure, consisting of a six-membered benzene ring fused to a five-membered nitrogen-containing pyrrole ring. Indole is a popular component of fragrances and the precursor to many pharmaceuticals. Compounds that contain an...

, skatole
Skatole
Skatole or 3-methylindole is a mildly toxic white crystalline organic compound belonging to the indole family. It occurs naturally in feces and coal tar, and has a strong fecal odor...

, and thiol
Thiol
In organic chemistry, a thiol is an organosulfur compound that contains a carbon-bonded sulfhydryl group...

s (sulfur
Sulfur
Sulfur or sulphur is the chemical element with atomic number 16. In the periodic table it is represented by the symbol S. It is an abundant, multivalent non-metal. Under normal conditions, sulfur atoms form cyclic octatomic molecules with chemical formula S8. Elemental sulfur is a bright yellow...

-containing compounds), as well as the inorganic gas hydrogen sulfide
Hydrogen sulfide
Hydrogen sulfide is the chemical compound with the formula . It is a colorless, very poisonous, flammable gas with the characteristic foul odor of expired eggs perceptible at concentrations as low as 0.00047 parts per million...

. These are the same compounds that are responsible for the odor of flatulence
Flatulence
Flatulence is the expulsion through the rectum of a mixture of gases that are byproducts of the digestion process of mammals and other animals. The medical term for the mixture of gases is flatus, informally known as a fart, or simply gas...

. Consumption of foods with spices may result in the spices being undigested and adding to the odor of feces. The perceived bad odor of feces has been hypothesized to be a deterrent for humans, as consumption or touching it may result in sickness or infection. Of course, human perception of the odor is a subjective
Subjectivity
Subjectivity refers to the subject and his or her perspective, feelings, beliefs, and desires. In philosophy, the term is usually contrasted with objectivity.-Qualia:...

 matter; an animal that eats feces may be attracted to its odor.

Pets



Pets can be trained to use litter boxes or wait to be allowed outside and defecate there. Training can be done in several ways, especially dependent on species. An example is crate training for dogs. Several companies market carpet
Carpet
A carpet is a textile floor covering consisting of an upper layer of "pile" attached to a backing. The pile is generally either made from wool or a manmade fibre such as polypropylene,nylon or polyester and usually consists of twisted tufts which are often heat-treated to maintain their...

 cleaning products aimed at pet owners.

Uses


Human feces may be used as fertilizer
Fertilizer
Fertilizer is any organic or inorganic material of natural or synthetic origin that is added to a soil to supply one or more plant nutrients essential to the growth of plants. A recent assessment found that about 40 to 60% of crop yields are attributable to commercial fertilizer use...

 (See also: Humanure) in the form of biosolids (treated sewage sludge). The feces of animals are often used as fertilizer
Fertilizer
Fertilizer is any organic or inorganic material of natural or synthetic origin that is added to a soil to supply one or more plant nutrients essential to the growth of plants. A recent assessment found that about 40 to 60% of crop yields are attributable to commercial fertilizer use...

; see manure
Manure
Manure is organic matter used as organic fertilizer in agriculture. Manures contribute to the fertility of the soil by adding organic matter and nutrients, such as nitrogen, that are trapped by bacteria in the soil...

 and guano
Guano
Guano is the excrement of seabirds, cave dwelling bats, and seals. Guano manure is an effective fertilizer due to its high levels of phosphorus and nitrogen and also its lack of odor. It was an important source of nitrates for gunpowder...

. Some animal feces, especially those of camel
Camel
A camel is an even-toed ungulate within the genus Camelus, bearing distinctive fatty deposits known as humps on its back. There are two species of camels: the dromedary or Arabian camel has a single hump, and the bactrian has two humps. Dromedaries are native to the dry desert areas of West Asia,...

, bison
Bison
Members of the genus Bison are large, even-toed ungulates within the subfamily Bovinae. Two extant and four extinct species are recognized...

 and cattle
Cattle
Cattle are the most common type of large domesticated ungulates. They are a prominent modern member of the subfamily Bovinae, are the most widespread species of the genus Bos, and are most commonly classified collectively as Bos primigenius...

, is used as fuel when dried out. Animal dung, besides being used as fuel
Fuel
Fuel is any material that stores energy that can later be extracted to perform mechanical work in a controlled manner. Most fuels used by humans undergo combustion, a redox reaction in which a combustible substance releases energy after it ignites and reacts with the oxygen in the air...

, is occasionally used as a cement
Cement
In the most general sense of the word, a cement is a binder, a substance that sets and hardens independently, and can bind other materials together. The word "cement" traces to the Romans, who used the term opus caementicium to describe masonry resembling modern concrete that was made from crushed...

 to make adobe
Adobe
Adobe is a natural building material made from sand, clay, water, and some kind of fibrous or organic material , which the builders shape into bricks using frames and dry in the sun. Adobe buildings are similar to cob and mudbrick buildings. Adobe structures are extremely durable, and account for...

 mudbrick
Mudbrick
A mudbrick is a firefree brick, made of a mixture of clay, mud, sand, and water mixed with a binding material such as rice husks or straw. They use a stiff mixture and let them dry in the sun for 25 days....

 huts or even in throwing sports such as cow pat throwing or camel dung throwing contests. Kopi Luwak
Kopi Luwak
Kopi luwak , or civet coffee, is one of the world's most expensive and low-production varieties of coffee. It is made from the beans of coffee berries which have been eaten by the Asian Palm Civet and other related civets, then passed through its digestive tract. A civet eats the berries for their...

 , or Civet coffee, is coffee
Coffee
Coffee is a brewed beverage with a dark,init brooo acidic flavor prepared from the roasted seeds of the coffee plant, colloquially called coffee beans. The beans are found in coffee cherries, which grow on trees cultivated in over 70 countries, primarily in equatorial Latin America, Southeast Asia,...

 made from coffee berries which have been eaten by and passed through the digestive tract of the Asian Palm Civet (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus).

See also Fewmets
Fewmets
Fewmets are the feces of a hunted animal, by which the hunter identifies it.Fewmets is a Medieval English hunting term derived from the Old English, with the intimation that these droppings are the only hint of the animal's presence; that the creature itself has yet to be seen.T.H...

 for the use of feces in venery, or Hunting
Hunting
Hunting is the practice of pursuing any living thing, usually wildlife, for food, recreation, or trade. In present-day use, the term refers to lawful hunting, as distinguished from poaching, which is the killing, trapping or capture of the hunted species contrary to applicable law...

 in the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

, and Kumalak
Kumalak
Kumalak is a form of geomancy, or divination, which originates in Central Asia. This fortune telling method involves forty-one beans, stones, or sheep dung sorted into piles, and has been used for hundreds of years in the region of present-day Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, and Siberia by...

 for the use of feces in fortune-telling
Fortune-telling
Fortune-telling is the practice of predicting information about a person's life. The scope of fortune-telling is in principle identical with the practice of divination...

 in Central Asia
Central Asia
Central Asia is a core region of the Asian continent from the Caspian Sea in the west, China in the east, Afghanistan in the south, and Russia in the north...

.

Dog feces were used in the tanning process of leather during the Victorian era. Collected dog feces were mixed with water to form a substance known as "bate". Enzymes in the dog feces helped to relax the fibrous structure of the hide before the final stages of tanning.

Social Implications


Feces has always been associated with the lowest people among society, the social outcasts, the pariahs, the social discards. The Caste system in India was created along the lines of profession and the dalits (untouchables) were left to do work related to human emissions. They did such work as clean and pick feces from streets, clean toilets, work with dead bodies. Such practices are prevalent even today in the rural and small villages of India. Even in western cultures, shit has always been associated with social discards. The usage of the word "shit" in modern English has its roots in the use of the word to denote something that is of little value, even having a negative value sometimes.

Animal feces



The feces of animals often have special names. For example:
  • Non-human animals generally –
    • As bulk material – dung
    • Individually – droppings
  • Cattle
    Cattle
    Cattle are the most common type of large domesticated ungulates. They are a prominent modern member of the subfamily Bovinae, are the most widespread species of the genus Bos, and are most commonly classified collectively as Bos primigenius...

    • Bulk material – cow dung
      Cow dung
      Cow dung is the waste product of bovine animal species. These species include domestic cattle , bison , yak and water buffalo. Cow dung is the undigested residue of plant matter which has passed through the animal's gut. The resultant faecal matter is rich in minerals...

    • Individual droppings – cow pats, meadow muffins etc.
  • Deer
    Deer
    Deer are the ruminant mammals forming the family Cervidae. Species in the Cervidae family include white-tailed deer, elk, moose, red deer, reindeer, fallow deer, roe deer and chital. Male deer of all species and female reindeer grow and shed new antlers each year...

    (and formerly other quarry animals) – fewmets
    Fewmets
    Fewmets are the feces of a hunted animal, by which the hunter identifies it.Fewmets is a Medieval English hunting term derived from the Old English, with the intimation that these droppings are the only hint of the animal's presence; that the creature itself has yet to be seen.T.H...

    .
  • Wild carnivore
    Carnivora
    The diverse order Carnivora |Latin]] carō "flesh", + vorāre "to devour") includes over 260 species of placental mammals. Its members are formally referred to as carnivorans, while the word "carnivore" can refer to any meat-eating animal...

    s
    – scat.
  • Otter
    Otter
    The Otters are twelve species of semi-aquatic mammals which feed on fish and shellfish, and also other invertebrates, amphibians, birds and small mammals....

    spraint
    Spraint
    Spraint or scat is the dung of the otter.Spraints are typically identified by smell and are known for their distinct aromas, the smell of which has been described as ranging from freshly mown hay to putrefied fish....

    .
  • Bird
    Bird
    Birds are feathered, winged, bipedal, endothermic , egg-laying, vertebrate animals. Around 10,000 living species and 188 families makes them the most speciose class of tetrapod vertebrates. They inhabit ecosystems across the globe, from the Arctic to the Antarctic. Extant birds range in size from...

    s
    (individual) – droppings (also include urine as white crystals of uric acid
    Uric acid
    Uric acid is a heterocyclic compound of carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, and hydrogen with the formula C5H4N4O3. It forms ions and salts known as urates and acid urates such as ammonium acid urate. Uric acid is created when the body breaks down purine nucleotides. High blood concentrations of uric acid...

    ).
  • Seabird
    Seabird
    Seabirds are birds that have adapted to life within the marine environment. While seabirds vary greatly in lifestyle, behaviour and physiology, they often exhibit striking convergent evolution, as the same environmental problems and feeding niches have resulted in similar adaptations...

    s
    or bat
    Bat
    Bats are mammals of the order Chiroptera "hand" and pteron "wing") whose forelimbs form webbed wings, making them the only mammals naturally capable of true and sustained flight. By contrast, other mammals said to fly, such as flying squirrels, gliding possums, and colugos, glide rather than fly,...

    s
    (large accumulations) – guano
    Guano
    Guano is the excrement of seabirds, cave dwelling bats, and seals. Guano manure is an effective fertilizer due to its high levels of phosphorus and nitrogen and also its lack of odor. It was an important source of nitrates for gunpowder...

    .
  • Herbivorous insect
    Insect
    Insects are a class of living creatures within the arthropods that have a chitinous exoskeleton, a three-part body , three pairs of jointed legs, compound eyes, and two antennae...

    s
    , such as caterpillar
    Caterpillar
    Caterpillars are the larval form of members of the order Lepidoptera . They are mostly herbivorous in food habit, although some species are insectivorous. Caterpillars are voracious feeders and many of them are considered to be pests in agriculture...

    s and leaf beetle
    Leaf beetle
    Beetles in the family Chrysomelidae are commonly known as leaf beetles. This is a family of over 35,000 species in more than 2,500 genera, one of the largest and most commonly encountered of all beetle families....

    s – frass
    Frass
    Frass is the fine powdery material phytophagous insects pass as waste after digesting plant parts. It causes plants to excrete chitinase due to high chitin levels, it is a natural bloom stimulant, and has high nutrient levels. Frass is known to have abundant amoeba, beneficial bacteria, and fungi...

    .
  • Earthworm
    Earthworm
    Earthworm is the common name for the largest members of Oligochaeta in the phylum Annelida. In classical systems they were placed in the order Opisthopora, on the basis of the male pores opening posterior to the female pores, even though the internal male segments are anterior to the female...

    s
    , lugworm
    Lugworm
    The lugworm or sandworm, Arenicola marina, is a large marine worm of the phylum Annelida. Its coiled castings are a familiar sight on a beach at low tide but the animal itself is rarely seen except by those who, from curiosity or to use as fishing bait, dig the worm out of the sand.When fully...

    s
    etc. – worm castings (feces extruded at ground surface).
  • Feces when used as fertilizer
    Fertilizer
    Fertilizer is any organic or inorganic material of natural or synthetic origin that is added to a soil to supply one or more plant nutrients essential to the growth of plants. A recent assessment found that about 40 to 60% of crop yields are attributable to commercial fertilizer use...

    (usually mixed with animal bedding and urine) – manure
    Manure
    Manure is organic matter used as organic fertilizer in agriculture. Manures contribute to the fertility of the soil by adding organic matter and nutrients, such as nitrogen, that are trapped by bacteria in the soil...

    .
  • Horses – horse manure, roadapple.

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