Smelliest animals in the world

Posted on Jul 17, 2008 in Size

Smelliest of all time – The skunk & zorilla

The skunk (pictured) is more famous but the zorilla, or striped polecat, is arguably smellier. Related to the weasel and not the skunk family, the zorilla’s pungent anus glands can be smelled half a mile away and, like the skunk, they’re used as a highly effective defensive measure. Despite being small, few animals risk getting close enough to eat either of them.



Biggest poo storers – The sloth

Sloths live and sleep in trees and, during the dry season, only come down to poo once every 5-7 days.  This is because being so slow, they know they are sitting ducks for predators and cannot rely on rain to mask the smell of their faeces. So, instead of defecating from high up, they climb down to earth and empty their bowels! In such circumstances, its been known for sloths to deposit nearly a kilo of dung, which is about one-fifth of their total body weight. Or in anyone’s language, is a helluva lot of poo.


Smelliest vomit – The vulture

When threatened or startled, vultures have a revolting defence strategy. They will vomit in the direction of their attacker. Given that a vulture’s diet consists of stinking, rotting meat, it should be no surprise to learn that the smell of this vomit is utterly foul. However if any predator is dumb (or desperate) enough to approach too closely, the high amount of acid in the vomit is strong enough to burn them as well. Meanwhile, feeling lighter after throwing up lunch, the vulture takes off and makes a quick get away.


Smelliest burper – The cow

It may come as a surprise to many of you but cows actually burp far more than they fart. And boy, do they burp. An average cow burps around 600 pints of methane a day, and this is responsible approximately for 4 percent of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions.


Smelliest farter – The termite

Due to their high fibre woody diet, termites, and not cows, are the undisputed fart champions of the world.  In fact termites fart so much, that collectively it is estimated they are responsible for 11% of all global methane emissions. That is about twice as much as cows and more than all the cars in the world put together!


Awesome poo shooters – The caterpilar

Caterpillars can shoot poo with such power that it lands three feet away. One species, the silver spotted skipper caterpillar, can even fire its faeces a colossal five feet (1.5 metres) from its nest. In equivalent terms, that would be like us casually firing our poo straight across a tennis court. Apart from being a great party trick, such ballistic poo power comes in handy against predators such as wasps, who use a caterpillar’s faeces to locate their prey.



Smelliest talkers – The herring

Herrings communicate through farting. And they fart all the time, which means they must have a lot to talk about!


Sweetest smelling bum! – The binturong

The elusive, sweet-toothed Binturong, is a member of the civet family, and lives in the tropical forests of Southern Asia. It’s a bizarre animal with a scent that is said to smell like buttered popcorn.



Do all animals fart?

Answer : It depends on what you call a fart. If we define farting as ‘releasing gas from the gut’, then all animals with guts fart. This is because as food is digested in the gut, gases are created as the food is broken down and these gases have to be released ie: through farting. Of course, due mainly to diet, some animals fart a lot more than others…

Holy guacamole! I really want to...