Press Release

Fernbank Museum Gives Visitors the Scoop on Poop

Interactive, Science-Based Fun Delivers the #1 Exhibit about #2!

ATLANTA—Fernbank Museum of Natural History’s summer exhibition isn’t a bunch of malarkey—it’s dung, poop and scat.The Scoop on Poop, on view from May 26 through September 3, 2012, is a hands-on, humorous approach to learning the science of studying animals based on the clues they leave behind.

The exhibition sprung from the pages of the popular The Scoop on Poop children’s book by Dr. Wayne Lynch as a tactful blend of good science and fun. Featuring three live animal displays that include hissing cockroaches, live mice and a box turtle, the interactive exhibition uses a sense of humor to investigate a subject people often find difficult to talk about with a straight face.

The Scoop on Poop leads visitors on an investigation of what poop is and how animals and humans use it. Fish do it, frogs do it, pythons, eagles and elephants do it, too. But it can have many uses that scientists use to uncover important information.

Visitors learn how animals use poop to build homes, hide from enemies, attract mates, send messages, and cool off – some even eat it. Veterinarians, farmers, naturalists, paleontologists, Maasai tribesmen and power companies use it, too. The exhibition reveals that poop is a scientific puzzle. With a little detective work, you can learn a lot about an animal by what it leaves behind.

The Scoop on Poop features large colorful graphic panels, three-dimensional models, and fun interactive components. Visitors are invited to listen in on 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 an elephant to poop its body weight, improve their “#2 IQ” instool school, and “meet” a dinosaur dung detective.

In addition to the live animals on display in the exhibition, Fernbank will offer live animal encounters and additional educational programming inside the exhibition’s Scoop Theater.*  (*Programs and animal encounters offered at select times.)

“We know from the lighthearted jokes making us giggle that poop can be funny.  But it’s also something all animals do and is a valuable tool for learning more about animals, even when they aren’t around,” said Lynn Anders, Fernbank’s Animal Programs Manager. “This is a fun way to show that science is far from a dirty word, even when it involves poop.”

The Scoop on Poop is included with Museum admission, which is $17.50 for adults, $16.50 for students/seniors, $15.50 for children ages 3-12, and free for children ages 2 and younger. The exhibition is free for Museum members. Special discounts are also available to schools and other groups of 10 or more.

Fernbank Museum of Natural History is located at 767 Clifton Road NE in Atlanta. Visitor information is available by calling 404.929.6300 or visiting fernbankmuseum.org.

You can also visit fernbankmuseum.org for tickets and more information.

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The Scoop on PoopExhibtion Highlights
1.  Poop Has Many Names- Visitors are invited to select locations on world map to learn the language of poop in countries around the world.

2.  A New Alternative-This 3-D model of a modern sewage digester comes to life with pumps and aerators to show an environmentally responsible way to deal with human waste.

3.  Outhouse- This old-fashioned replica of an outhouse gives visitors a chance for an unusual photo opportunity.

4.  Worth Your Weight In...African elephants are the biggest poopers of all land animals. Step on the scale to see how many hours (or minutes!) it takes an elephant to poop your body weight.

5.  Fecal Framework- This full-size, touchable replica of an African termite mound lets visitors explore how termites glue their houses together with their own dung.

6.  Muck Spreading- Activate a video recording of a bull hippopotamus broadcasting dung with his tail.

7.  Dung Boots- Watch a rhinoceros kick and stomp its dung so he can mark his territory with a trail of smelly footprints.

8.  Ins & Outs- Listen in on a grizzly bear’s digestive tract and learn how food becomes poop.

9.  Fecal Fakers- See if you can spot animals that camouflage themselves by looking like bird droppings.

10.Dung Beetle Race- See whose beetle is the fastest. Turn a rubber dung ball to move your beetle to the finish line.

11.Beetles to the Rescue- Why aren’t we up to our eyeballs in dung? Activate a video clip to see a time-lapse recording of beetles cleaning up a dung pile.

12.Who Dung It?- Animal scat is a great way to learn about the wild animals in your area. Learn to be a scat tracker by matching dung samples with the animals that made them.  

13.Diagnostic Doo- Check out the close-up world of dung through a veterinarian’s microscope. Can you see anything unusual?

14.Touch a Coprolite- Dinosaurs left more than bones and teeth behind - some of their droppings were also preserved. Touch an 80-million-year-old fossilized turd.

15.Fossil Feces- Activate several short interviews with a paleontologist who studies fossilized animal dung.

16.Dangerous Droppings– This live animal exhibit offers a behind the scenes look through the wall of a house to show how mice enter our homes and live in our food cupboards.

17.Buffalo Chip Courtship- Activate a video recording of sarus cranes performing a bizarre mating ritual. The male throws buffalo dung around to impress the female.

18.Special Delivery- See how box turtles spread berry seeds in their droppings in this live animal exhibit.

The Scoop on Poop is included with Museum admission, which is $17.50 for adults, $16.50 for students/seniors, $15.50 for children ages 3-12, and free for children ages 2 and younger. The exhibition is free for Museum members. Special discounts are also available to schools and other groups of 10 or more.

Fernbank Museum of Natural History is located at 767 Clifton Road NE in Atlanta. Visitor information is available by calling 404.929.6300 or visiting fernbankmuseum.org.

Visit fernbankmuseum.org for tickets and more information.

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