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I understand that when you see animal droppings in the wilderness, it's referred to as "scat." I have heard scat referred to when referencing bear, coyote and mountain lion droppings.

Is this the case for all animals? For example, would you refer to pig or chicken droppings as "scat"?

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The Wikipedia article on feces, seems to indicate that scat is used in reference to wild animal droppings only.

Notwithstanding Wikipedia's article some dictionaries define scat as simply as an animal fecal dropping.

The feces of animals often have special names, for example:

Non-human animals

As bulk material – dung

Individually – droppings

Cattle

Bulk material – cow dung

Individual droppings – cow pats, meadow muffins, etc.

Deer (and formerly other quarry animals) – fewmets

Wild carnivores – scat

Otter – spraint

Birds (individual) – droppings (also include urine as white crystals of uric acid)

Seabirds or bats (large accumulations) – guano

Herbivorous insects, such as caterpillars and leaf beetles – frass

Earthworms, lugworms etc. – worm castings (feces extruded at ground surface)

Feces when used as fertilizer (usually mixed with animal bedding and urine) – manure

Horses – horse manure, roadapple (before motor vehicles became common, horse droppings were a big part of the rubbish communities needed to clean off roads)

Animal scat in the wild is important in identifying and tracking particular wild animals.

Using scats to identify animals

All animals leave scats, whether it's a native animal such as a possum, or a feral fox or cat. Snakes, birds, lizards, even insects - if you start looking for them you'll find scats everywhere.

Becoming familiar with animals scats is the only way to learn to distinguish them, according to National Parks and Wildlife NSW officer Dan Lunney.

"It's very hard to be a scat expert. The common thing is that you get very good at identifying the scats of one particular animal," he said.

Once you've gained a familiarity with them, scats are a valuable way of finding out what kind of animals are around you and where they live. Below are a few simple tips to get you started at looking at scats. It can be a tricky business, and a good guide is useful. It's important to find out what sort of animals are around in your area so you know what you are looking for. - What scat is that?

Animal scat is used in the identification and tracking of wild animals. Animal Scat has a number of animal scat photos that could be helpful in animal research.

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It is specifically used in the context of tracking and similar to when you are using it to identify and track the animal in question. As such it also comes under the general heading of 'spoor' which can include any signs left by an animal including hair, foot/paw/hoof prints, evidence of feeding and damage to vegetation etc.

In other contexts, animal spoor (Wikipedia) works for the same material, and may be used.

Careful examination may tell you a lot about both the species which left it and their diet and habits.

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