I Want to Learn How to Think Beyond Academic Disciplines
Vol.6 2014.11.19 Takefumi KIKUSUI
Communication through Excreta
Animals including human beings ingest nutrition by mouth and excrete the disused products. Generally speaking, there is an image that excreta is redundant but in fact the communications generated through the use of excreta is important in the world of animals. For example, hippopotamuses claim the right to their territory by their excreta and dogs mark their territories by lifting their legs high. It is said that this excreta contains the information of gender, age, status, provisions, blood relations, individuals and the state of infection. This information is important for the purpose of building or keeping relations between individuals. The majority of excreta is accepted as scent by animals and it changes their behaviour and internal secretions. There are animals such as rabbits and koalas which eat excreta. They spread the intestinal flora and have a peculiar metabolism by eating excreta. Excreta provides a treasure of information and the information it provides, goes beyond our expectations.
In this lecture, I am going to introduce such communication through excreta in the world of animals.
- Takefumi KIKUSUI
- Professor at the Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Azabu (Doctor of Veterinary Medicine) He graduated from the College of Veterinary Medicine, the Faculty of Agriculture, the University of Tokyo. After having worked for the graduate school of agricultural and life sciences as an assistant, he became an associate professor at the the Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Azabu in 2007. He has been in his present post since 2009. He loves dogs and goes to work with his pet dog (standard poodle). At the weekend, he walks with his dog. His literary works include: Ikimono no sanpo michi (The path for a walk for the animals) (buneido, 2011), Inu no kokoro o yomu: Hanryo dobutsugaku kara wakaru koto (Reading of the mind of the dogs: Learning from the study of the companion animals) (Iwanami kagaku library, 2012), Kansatsu suru me ga kawaru dobutsugaku nyumon (A guide to zoology which changes an observant eye) (Bere shuppan, 2014).
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