A! Magazine for the Arts

Wayne Lynch's book, "The Scoop on Poop," delves into a subject not usually discussed.

Wayne Lynch's book, "The Scoop on Poop," delves into a subject not usually discussed.

Exhibit Based on Children's Book, 'The Scoop on Poop'

June 25, 2008

GRAY, Tenn. -- On display through Sept. 7, 2008, is "The Scoop on Poop: The Science of What Animals Leave Behind," based on the popular book with the same name by Dr. Wayne Lynch, an acclaimed natural history writer/photographer.

Lynch is the author and photographer of a dozen highly acclaimed natural history books and more than 20 books for children and young adults. His popular book, The Scoop on Poop (32 pages, 50 color photographs, for children ages 8-12), explores the fascinating science of how animals use poop to build homes, attract partners, send messages, cool off and much more. He wrote the book in 2001 on a dare from his publisher, and it has become his best-selling book of all time. Total sales may soon outnumber all his other books combined.

Although fish do it, frogs do it, and pythons, eagles and elephants do it, poop is just one of those subjects most people find difficult to talk about with a straight face. So, this peek at poop uses colorful graphics, artifacts, three-dimensional models, and interaction to treat the subject with "a tactful blend of good science and fun."

Visitors are invited to listen to an animal's digestive system, learn the "language of poop" in countries around the world, examine fecal samples in a veterinarian's lab, compete in dung beetle races, track wild animals by clues left in scat, see how long it takes for an elephant to poop its body weight, improve their "No. 2 IQ" in stool school, and meet a dinosaur "dung detective."

In addition, live animals for the exhibit are provided by Rob Cole, Bays Mountain Park; Dr. Karl Joplin, ETSU Department of Biological Sciences; and Dr. Greg Hanley, ETSU Division of Laboratory Animal Resources.

To find out about the related exhibit, "The Scoop on Poop," click HERE.

Library Outreach for Young Children

Through an outreach program, staff members of the ETSU Natural History Museum are visiting local libraries to tell "fantastical" fiction and non-fiction stories about the Gray Fossil Site and the animals that once lived there.

The program introduces young children to fossils, evolution, and extinction. Small groups of young "scientists-intraining" will be introduced to scientific inquiry while exploring and identifying fossil specimens. They will also have a chance to see the "tools of the trade" and learn what types of tools real paleontologists use when they hunt for fossils.

Large groups will be provided with movies and slide shows that detail the remarkable findings of a distant world recently uncovered at the Gray Fossil Site. They will also see short films about the important role of dung in our modern world.

READ ON about Science & Art:
-- Arts Related History Courses at ETSU
-- Arts & Crafts in Natural History Camp
-- Inside the Museum: "Symbiosis"
--The Next Exhibition: "Ocean Gems: Gems of the Sea"
-- Previous Exhibitions: "Artistic R-evolution," "Earth Permanence," and "Orders of Magnitude"
-- Get "The Scoop on Poop" and other activities for a variety of ages.
-- Back to main story: Science & Art: Creative Partners.