COURTESY BISHOP MUSEUM
Kids get to experience the more unsavory parts of the animal kingdom by pumping blood into a mosquito.
Getting the real scoop on poop
Bishop Museum's newest exhibit delves into gross animal topics -- how fun!
Although the act of getting rid of waste weaves a common thread between all living beings, it's not a general topic of discussion, unless you are talking about the conversations of pre-adolescent boys. Poop may be a part of everyday life, but how much do we really know about it?
On exhibit: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, through April 20
Where: Bishop Museum
Admission: Kamaaina and military $7.95, children 4 to 12 and seniors $6.95; general $15.95, children and seniors $12.95; children 3 and under free. 7-11 stores will be distributing "$3 coupons.
Who killed Darwin Dog?
CSI Animal Grossology Academy: Case File R2D2
Help solve the mysterious death of Darwin Dog using clues from the crime scene -- strange slime, broken furniture, no witnesses. Crime scene investigators go through a series of suspects and need your expertise of "animal grossology" to solve the case in this 20-minute program. At 12:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through April 20.
Bishop Museum's new exhibit, "Animal Grossology," manages to use all of the descriptive slang for feces -- poop, dung, dookie, turds, poo and scat -- to teach visitors all there is to know.
"It's all about the dung," said Hiilani Shibata, Bishop Museum's education operations manager. "Good teachers often use something of interest to hook the kids in. And that's how they learn something that they need to know."
That's exactly what Sylvia Branzei, author of the series of "Grossology" books intended. As a former schoolteacher, she used the idea of teaching science through unpleasant things.
Notes posted throughout the exhibit definitely provide tidbits grotesque enough to draw in kids -- and gross out their parents.
"Gorillas often eat their own poop, maybe because it's shaped like a big Tootsie Roll," one board states, "however it's likely that it helps them absorb more nutrients."
Reads another: "Some dung beetles roll 50 times their weight in dung" and are known as the original "pooper scoopers." And did you know that hippos poop in the water, but if their droppings were found on land, they would be the size of small bowling balls?
COURTESY BISHOP MUSEUM
Discover the finer points of elephant and penguin poo.
One of the exhibit's goals is to teach why scatologists study the texture, color and contents of animal poop.
"Oftentimes, we can study the structures and functions of animals to learn more about human systems," Shibata added. One exhibit explains how slug and snail slime can help scientists gain insight into dealing with cystic fibrosis. And although leeches and maggots may be disgusting, the exhibit shows how they are used after surgery to help with healing. Visitors also learn how to deal with jellyfish stings and how to avoid the West Nile Virus and Lyme's Disease.
"Animal Grossology" is modeled after the original "Grossology: The Impolite Science of the Human Body" display that debuted at the museum in 2006.
If the poop portion doesn't provide an engrossing enough experience, try out "Tapeworm Tug." Watch 3-D footage of this creepy creature as it explores the insides of an intestine. Learn how long the critter can grow (60 feet), by tugging on the tape.
Kids and adults alike are bound to learn interesting morsels -- like how some frogs give birth by belching and that honey is bee barf. That knowledge can be tested in the "Animal Grossology" trivia game.
And if you're still not grossed out enough, check out the creepy critters that some people consider treats. Moviegoers in Colombia skip the popcorn. Instead, they munch on buckets full of fried ant bellies.