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What Shat That?: A Pocket Guide to Poop Identity Paperback – September 1, 2007

4 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

* A one-of-a-kind field guide to matching species with their feces, featuring 50 animals and their droppings. * Includes 25 full-color photos of poop, 50 silhouette-style illustrations, 50 maps, and 25 scale drawings. * Starting with the smallest (plankton poo) and working up to the largest (whale poo), each entry examines both the scat and its source and provides a wide range of facts, figures, and feature boxes--some surprising, some enlightening, others downright disgusting.

About the Author

MATT PAGETT is an artist, illustrator, and writer based in Brighton, England. A graduate of Edinburgh University, he has worked on a number of books, including Household Management for Men, Make Your Own Sex Toys, The Campsite Companion, and 101 Golden Rules of Fishing. The natural world has often featured in Matt's artwork, which has been exhibited internationally.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Ten Speed Press; First Edition edition (September 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580088856
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580088855
  • Product Dimensions: 4.5 x 0.4 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,002,381 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
If you've ever wanted to be able to identify anything from a rabbit to a fox to a bear or a koala by its dung, well, this is the book for you. A two-page spread on each animal includes loving descriptions of each animal's fecal habits, as well as photos or drawings of turds both large and small. The book is just small enough to fit into a large pocket or a small bag, making it easy to take along as subway reading (in case you relish those weird looks from strangers) or to help you identify those piles of crap you find while hiking.

You'll learn a huge amount about how various animals' feces are used to enable scientists to better track and analyze their movements, habits, and health. The book includes a wide array of factoids regarding how dung is used: as fertilizer, tourist souvenirs, a water purifier(!), a necessary part of complex ecosystems, a source of food or shelter for some critters, and more.

The book has a humorous, irreverent tone, invoking every possible name for poo that you could possibly think of and then some.

I loved this book equally for its tone and for the fascinating bits of information scattered throughout--some hilarious, some poignant, some quite gross. You'll learn how the CIA used tiger poop during the Vietnam War, why ants farm and protect aphids for their honeydew-dung, and how ancient civilizations used various types of scat in medicinal remedies. Not to mention the wealth of information scientists have gathered about animals thanks to their dung, either directly or indirectly.
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got this for my boyfriend for christmas a couple years ago. i like to give him some goofy things as well as serious things. this book is both goofy and serious. thanks for the poo knowins.
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By G B on January 3, 2013
Format: Paperback
As some of the other reviewers have mentioned, this is a wide-ranging book with little to no utility for identifying wild animals living near you. Many of the pictures are drawings, and extremely poor drawings, rather than photos. While old tracking books are full of drawings, at least they had some detail, rather than each one looking something like Mr. Hanky. For instance: fox, cougar and beaver: sounds promising for the would-be tracker but both are drawings and mainly differ in color. He doesn't include raccoon but meanwhile chooses to demonstrate both whale and plankton poo. The written descriptors appear to be random bits of information gathered online. I'm just glad I only paid for a used copy. It might be amusing for a kid, but I'd suggest looking harder for a genuinely informative book for a growing mind.
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Clever little book that is much more educational and scientific than would be expected based upon the clever artwork on the front cover and the catchy title. I purchased this for the purposes of going into the wood and hiking with my kids. It's well written, appropriately illustrated, and a good quick read. While some people may consider this to be a satire, it's really more of a reference book, albeit one written with a nice touch of humor. This is a good book for all ages as it addresses the subject without being juvenile.
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...of information. Lacks any clear organization, doesn't cohere into a solid mass. Not so much the comprehensive field guide I was seeking as it was a collection of slightly stale, slightly stiff factoids about the scat of charismatic megafauna.

A disappointing piece on s***.
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This book got just the reaction I was going for, "giggles, snickers and snorts!" The animals included are from around the world, so is not very useful for actual identification, unless you have penguins, gazelles, or T-Rexes roaming your backyard. But the facts are correct and does introduce the idea that animals can be identified in this fashion. One word of warning however the present tense of "s***" is used throughout the book! My son is 7, loved the book, and has since been out hunting to see what we have roaming in our back yard and beyond.
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Parts of this book are humorous, but it is not a joke. In addition to describing the scat of many animals, it tells why it looks the way it does. Discusses the diet, digestive system and habits of each of the animals. Easy to read and entertaining and actually usefull if you are interested in amimals or nature in general. The parts on common animals maybe more usefull than the ones on rinos or aardvarks, but they also give an interesting insite on how animals have evolved.
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Format: Paperback
This book is great! I, like a lot of people living in rural areas, have some weird neighbors. When I started finding large piles of poop on the porch every morning I assumed it was some sort of large animal that for some reason had decided it liked relieving itself on my doorstep...but then around Halloween I started noticing what looked like peanuts and candy corn in the scat.

I became suspicious of the clearly inbreed neighbors dog pretty quickly, so I ordered a copy of "Matt Pagett's wonderful book. With his help I was able to convince the local Sheriff that it was indeed my hillbilly neighbor's dog even though the poop pointed towards a bit larger animal. Much to everyone's surprise it turned out to be one of the inbreed children.

The point is, knowing what is crapping in your yard (or on your porch) can lead to an interesting hobby, or even a six week stint in Juvie for the neighbors awful, awful children.
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