Animals

You Can Identify the Gender of a Turkey by the Shape of Its Poo

You can identify the gender of a turkey by the shape of its poo

The nearer we get to Thanksgiving, the more we see turkeys all around us. No, we’re not referring to all of the politicians who running around, trying to get votes. We refer to the animal that appears in holiday advertisements and is the center of attraction at the Thanksgiving feast.

Have you wondered how to tell the difference between a male and female turkey? If you are curious, all you have to do is follow the turkey around until nature calls. The shape of a turkey’s poop is one of the easiest ways to discern its gender.

The five spiral-shaped droppings on the left are from a female turkey. The four on the right come from males.

Admittedly, that is probably considered a bit creepy and would be frowned upon if you apply that technique to the strangely-dressed person you see at Walmart. Turkeys, on the other hand, are pretty much used to it by now. The distinctive shape of their feces is a result of their multi-functional orifice called a cloaca. It is a one-stop-shop that expels feces, and (in the females) eggs.

In females, the cloaca is larger and stretchier than the male counterparts, allowing ample room for egg passage. This roomier arrangement allows the droppings to curl and gather before making their debut into the outside world.

The male cloaca, on the other hand, leaves little wiggle room. When the male turkey gets the turkey trots, the result is a hook-shaped piece of poo.

In terms of fecal shapes, the cube-shaped poop of the wombat is still our favorite. Turkeys, however, with their peculiar pooping proclivities, propel positively to position #2 because of the extra creativity they put into going Number Two.


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