Friday Sprog Blogging (bonus reader participation issue): circus detectives.

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Yesterday, the Free-Ride family visited Circus World. It was a full day, and we're still working on digesting the experience, but there were some animal performers that made an impression, including dogs, a pony, a camel, and an elephant.

This put us in mind of our visit with Bora last July to the Circus exhibit at the Lawrence Hall of Science.

That exhibit featured specimens (simulated and odorless) of droppings from various animals that have been part of traveling circuses. And here's where the reader participation comes in.

For each of the following dung samples, (1) what is the animal that produced it, and (2) what facts about the animal (in terms of its diet, digestive system, etc.) help you identify it as the source of the pictured scat?

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SAMPLE 1

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SAMPLE 2

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SAMPLE 3

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SAMPLE 4

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SAMPLE 5

Note that I probably won't be online to approve your comments until sometime Sunday, but don't let that stop you from playing!

If someone gets them all right (and provides good criteria for identification), I'll provide some suitable reward.

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From Jennifer & Zachary, Jen's guesses are 1st, Zach's are 2nd:

Sample 1 - Rabbit, Raccoon
Sample 2 - Elephant, Camel (because they drink alot of water
Sample 3 - Deer, Rabbit
Sample 4 - bear, horse
Sample 5 - horse, deer

Jen (9) and Zach (7)

The elephant fecal sample looks like it is more liquid that normal wild elephants. Normally, the feces are in a dryer big round fecal ball. Maybe the sample is more liquid due to a richer diet of the elephant in captivity. Could also be due to stress or disease.