Grizzly bears, dogs, and even cockroaches fart. Do sea anemones? Nope. As for spiders, no one knows.
Daniella Rabaiotti and Nick Caruso’s new book, Does It Fart?, is illustrated by Ethan Kocak and debuts tomorrow in the United States. The book lists a number of animals, answers the titular question, and offers some insight into animal digestion. Like many silly ideas, it all started with a tweet—but it’s all real science, we promise!
“There’s a lot we don’t know about animal farts, and that means a lot we don’t know about animal digestion,” Rabaiotti, a Ph.D student at University College London and the Zoological Society of London, said. “It’s hopefully a lighthearted way to learn a lot of cool stuff you might not have known about animals.”
The book started with Rabaiotti’s tweet, which soon became an editable spreadsheet with the help of Caruso, a hashtag (#DoesItFart), and even a Gizmodo story. But this is a book which means it’s, well, more than a tweet. For example, did you know that:
Blue whales have very large farts, very likely the largest in volume of any species. But these expulsions have only been caught on camera a few times.
Millipedes release much tinier toots. Their simple digestive tract contains methane-producing bacteria to aid in processing food. Tropical millipede species produce more gas than non-tropical species, since they’re bigger.
And sea cucumbers don’t fart, but there are species of pearlfish that live (and feed) on their genitalia.
Rabaiotti isn’t worried about what a fart book might do to her professional career. In fact, she’s writing another book soon. She said: “It might be loosely poop-themed.”