Monkey Poop: Everything You’ve Ever Wanted to Know

Written by Emmanuel Kingsley
Published: September 15, 2022
Image Credit iStock.com/Ozbalci
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Monkeys are large mammals belonging to the order Primates and the family Cebidae. Known scientifically as the Macaca fascicularis, there are more than 260 monkey species and they are found in Africa, Asia, Central America, South America, and Oceania. Monkeys are closely related to humans; they have a lot of things in common with us, which is probably why they are one of the most popular animals in the world. They also poop a lot and in this article, we shall be delving into the pooping system of monkeys in order to help you learn everything you’ve ever wanted to know.

What Does Monkey Poop Look Like?

Poop of Snow Monkey
Monkey poop is often coil-shaped, solid, and dark brown.

STUDIO BONOBO/Shutterstock.com

Monkey poop looks something like human poop, however, it is often smaller in size and somewhat darker. It is often coil-shaped, solid, and dark brown with some particles in between depending on what they previously ate. For instance, if the monkey had some leaves prior, you are likely to find a green particle in its scat. Like in humans, when monkey poop turns bloody or watery, it could be a sign of diarrhea or other digestive issues. Also, if it is too hard and not moist at all, that could be a result of constipation or dehydration. On the whole, monkey poop is best when it is well-formed, slightly moist, creamy, and leaves a mark when taken up from the ground. 

Why Is Monkey Poop So Big?

Some have wondered why a monkey’s poop looks so big, sometimes as big as human poop. The answer is simple- monkeys are primates and they have a digestive system similar to humans that allows them to eat quite a lot of food. Baboons, for example, spend most of their day foraging which means they often have quite a lot to eat every day and this is reflected in the size of their scat. 

How Do Monkeys Poop?

monkey was caught pooping
Monkeys may be found pooping on trees.

iStock.com/PharmShot

Like most other animals and primates, monkeys poop through an opening in their hindquarters. They would lower their butts while holding on to something and poop away. Their digestive system includes the stomach, colon, small intestine, esophagus, and the anal opening through which poop passes.

Unlike some other animals, monkeys do not poop and pee at the same time as they do not have a cloaca for that. Like humans, they have an entire urinary system comprising the kidney, bladder, and the ureter, all of which contribute to ejecting urine through the urinary tract.

Does Monkey Poop Smell?

As we have mentioned over and over, monkeys have a lot in common with humans. Their poop also looks something like human poop and of course, it smells. And the smell is not just the ammonia odor you have in rats; we are talking actual, putrid stench that no one ever wants to smell. Since they are omnivorous and are known to feed on leaves, fruits, and insects, it makes total sense that their poop smells that bad. 

Where Do Monkeys Poop?

Monkey Dung
Monkeys poop anywhere they feel like.

iStock.com/swasdee

Since they do not have control over their bowels like humans do, monkeys poop anywhere they feel like it. Once the poop comes, they let it out. Also, they are arboreal animals, which means they may be found pooping on trees while holding on to something. 

As is the case with most mammals, monkeys often finish defecating in a matter of seconds. 

How Often Do Monkeys Poop?

Close observation by some scientists reveals that monkeys often poop right after foraging and eating. Also, they poop frequently which means you could catch them defecating periodically the entire day. That is likely one of the reasons experts often recommend using diapers for pet monkeys

Do Monkeys Throw Poop?

While it is not a trait that characterizes all monkeys, there is some veracity to the belief that monkeys throw poop. A good example of a poop-throwing monkey is the capuchin which often throws poop when it feels aggressive or bored. Some other species throw poop in the wild as a way of marking territory or warding off predators.  

What Do Monkeys Eat?

As we mentioned earlier, most monkey species have an omnivorous diet, although they often tilt towards the herbivorous side. They seldom eat meat but often eat insects and even lizards. Monkeys’ diet also includes nuts, seeds, flowers, buds, seeds, gum, and nectar. Most monkey species are termed frugivores because they have a penchant for fruits like bananas, berries, drupes, and mangoes, among others. They are also known to steal eggs from other animals.

Do Monkeys Fart?

Much like humans, monkeys fart and they sometimes do it very loudly. As it is in most mammals, gas often builds up in monkeys’ guts thanks to bacteria, and farting is how the gas escapes. And, just as you’ve probably guessed, their fart smells pretty bad!

Is Monkey Poop Harmful?

Monkeys are some of the most feared creatures in the world among humans. Not just because of their wildness and inclination to violence, but also the widespread and accurate belief that they spread diseases. Some infections attributed to monkeys include tuberculosis, campylobacter, ebola, hepatitis, Salmonella, Shigella, and tuberculosis among others. 

Some of these are spread through monkey poop, and they include Salmonella, shigella, and campylobacter. Also, there has been a mild spread of the Herpes B virus, most commonly hosted by macaque monkeys. Humans can get it from contact with their poop and symptoms include pains, fever, and aches. It could cause brain damage – about 21 of 50 infected people have died from the disease in the last century. 

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Sources
  1. National Library of Medicine, Available here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2610274/
  2. QUIMIGEN, Available here: https://www.quimigen.com/en/buy/cat-monkey-urine-165.html