Can you identify an animal from a scientist’s description of its fart?

Wasn’t me.
Wasn’t me.
Image: AP Photo/Joshua Paul
We may earn a commission from links on this page.

A lot of animals fart. The vast majority of vertebrates fart, and a good quarter of invertebrates do too. A solid portion of animals in both categories may fart, but science hasn’t confirmed it for sure, and no one’s been able to interview their significant others.

For most of this week, scientists from all over the world have been contributing to a Google spreadsheet that documents which animals fart, with a bonus tab for animals that puke (spiders!) The undertaking was inspired by conservation researcher Dani Rabaiotti, a University College London PhD candidate who wondered on Twitter whether snakes fart. Rabaiotti posed the question to David Steen, a biologist at Auburn University, and from there #DoesItFart was born. (Snakes, incidentally, do fart.)

It’s not only interesting which animals fart, but how they do—some of the best bits of the #DoesItFart spreadsheet are its notes. See if you can match God’s creation with a scientist’s description of its flatulence.


bobcat Burmese python copperhead domestic cat giraffe herring millipede orangutan seal snow leopard spotted hyena squid/octopus/cuttlefish 1. ___________ “Elicits a small squeak, so small that you think you may be mistaken…until it hits you. Very dry and feral, with a slight hint of stale…musk.” 2. ___________ “They do it often and have no shame.” 3. ___________ “Yes, of the silent but deadly variety (methane and hydrogen sulfide!)” 4. ___________ “At the ‘face height’ of the average man.” 5. ___________ “Smells like lutefisk.” 6. ___________ “Their floofy bottoms help to muffle the sound.” 7. ___________ “Often silent but deadly. Thick and…meaty? If it were a color it would be brownish-yellow.” 8. ___________ “Entire bays are filled with their farts. Used for communication.” 9. ___________ “Especially bad after eating camel intestines.” 10. ___________ “Squirrel-based farts are the worst.” 11. ___________ “If we count air coming out of the siphon as farting, yes.” 12. ___________ “Seems to worsen in the vicinity of human face. Silent but deadly.”

Answers: [1] copperhead [2] orangutan [3] millipede [4] giraffe [5] seal [6] snow leopard [7] Burmese python [8] herring [9] spotted hyena [10] bobcat [11] squid/octopus/cuttlefish [12] domestic cat