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By Gary Bogue
Wednesday, September 5th, 2007 at 7:36 am in Animal Books.

A Pocket Guide to Poop Identity
by Matt Pagett, published by Ten Speed Press, P.O. Box 7123, Berkeley, CA 94707;

I’ve received some pretty strange things in the mail over the years — smashed flat bugs with a note asking me to identify them … a very angry wasp in a film canister that chased me all around the newsroom … a 3-foot boa constrictor — but a book entitled, “What Shat That?” … a “guide to matching feces with their species” from my friend Zac Nelson at Ten Speed really takes the cake.

Gee thanks, Zac. I really own you for this. Do you mind if I send you a few samples for you to identify with the help of your new book?

Tidbits about the book:
“Pocket-sized, informative, and entertaining, this fascinating little $12.95 paperback brings excitement to excrement with 112 jam-packed pages of poo in all its smelly splendor. Each of the 50 entries in the book (mammals, birds, lizards, fish) includes the animal with a map and information on everything from its scientific name to its habitat and diet. There are also full-color photos and illustrations of the you-know-what for easy identification, descriptions and commentary, as well as a ‘Mess Factor’ rating (lions are the nastiest, scoring 5 out of 5, while the modest termite gets a 1).”

If you spend a lot of time hiking and have always wondered “What left THAT?” in the middle of the trail — this handy little guide will help you find out.

It’s a classic scat sampler, chock full of “more than you ever wanted to know but were too grossed out to ask.”

Now you don’t have to ask. You can just read about it.

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3 Responses to ““WHAT SHAT THAT?””

  1. Susan Says:

    The PERFECT Christmas gift for hikers, campers and general outdoor enthusiasts! Sister Carol, I’m ordering one for YOU and our sister Sharon right NOW!

  2. Zak Nelson Says:

    Oy vey. Well, glad you liked it, Gary. Hope your readers like it too. It certainly passed the “friend test,” wherein I pass copies of new titles out to my friends and gauge their reactions. My nephews in Mendocino immediately ran out on a hike, and began identifying all kinds of unusual droppings (“Look! Whale poop!”).

  3. Paulette Kenyon Says:

    My dog, Tess, likes to eat poop, mostly cat poop; so, she would probably really enjoy the book if it has photos or scratch and sniff sections. Especially in the cat section.
    I’m reading a book called “Merle’s Door,” that goes into a few page discussion of Merle’s emotional reaction to various kinds of poop. I found this section enormously entertaining, as I can’t wait to closely watch Tess for different reactions as she paws and sniffs at various poops long the route, or follows scent trails leading away from the poop spot. What makes some poop more fascinating to dogs than other poop? Questions that have befuddled man for centuries. Now, we have a poop guide and a chronicle of one dog’s opinions on poop. For example, Merle would dig apart and pee on coyote poop, whereas, when he encountered the great large dog, we call a wolf, he would respectfully, paw at in, but, never would he pee on it. I’m sure there’s a whole world of poop stories just waiting for us out there.

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