The No. 2 exhibition of the year at Milwaukee Public Museum isn’t big, but, come on, how much poop does it take to leave an impression?
"The Scoop on Poop: The Science of What Animals Leave Behind" – created by the same company, Peeling Productions, that did the frogs exhibition at MPM a couple years back – has plopped into the same second-floor exhibition space that hosted the frogs.
Admission to the show, open daily from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., is $5 in addition to regular admission, $4.50 for members.
The poop show gets bagged and tossed on Jan. 14, 2014.
Just because "The Scoop on Poop" is small doesn’t mean it’s a dump. No, this relatively compact show packs a lot of information onto a range of fun, colorful panels.
There is a lot of reading, with lots of photos, on the panels, but there are also video segments, audio features, live mice – disconcertingly displayed in a case that replicates the walls of a home – box turtles and hissing cockroaches.
There’s also fossilized dinosaur dookie – called coprolites – that visitors can touch.
There’s a poop matching game and a dung beetle derby played with a dung ball.
Here’s some of the interesting things you’ll learn when squeeze in a visit to the show:
- 11,000-pound African elephants eat more than 400 pounds of leaves, grass and tree bark a day. It takes roughly 9.5 hours for them to drop my body weight (fully dressed and wearing a jacket) in poop.
- Dung beetles eat poop and even burrow inside of it and eat their way out. They enjoy it, apparently, as much as we’d enjoy burrowing into a giant Boston cream pie and eating our way out.
- On hot days, storks and vultures squirt wet poop on to themselves to keep cool.
- Acacia trees propagate when elephants eat their seeds. The intestines stimulate germination and when the seeds drop to the ground, they’re encased in a giant pile of fertilizer.
- Fermented dung creates methane that is used as a biogas.
- Many cultures have burned poop as a fuel.
- In Africa, paper is sometimes made from elephant dung. It’s a perfect complement to the No. 2 pencil, I hear.
- Some cultures use poop to build huts.
- In China, there is a tea brewed from caterpillar poop.
You can learn even more when you get "The Scoop on Poop."
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.
He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.