Australia's Answer to the Cat Communicates Through Poop

This is the “quoll,” otherwise known as the “native cat.” On the plus side, it’s not venomous. (Way to hold back for once, Australia.) On the negative side, well... it seems to have a feces-based communication system.

The quoll technically isn’t just one species; it’s any member of a group of carnivorous marsupials from genus Dasyurus. What you’re looking at above is the tiger quoll, which has the most catlike shape of the bunch, and is the quoll which earned the nickname “native cat.” (The northern quoll is more mouse-like and only weighs in at about three-quarters of a pound.)


Quolls are pretty much just what you’d expect from cat-like animals. They tend roam alone unless it’s mating season. They eat small mammals and insects, but when they’re really on their game they can take down wallabies. They’re nocturnal, and they can live in a wide range of habitats, from farmland to forest.

There is one quoll quirk, though. Like cats, they will mark their territory, but that mark doesn’t always mean “keep out.” Quolls like to use “communal latrines.” These are usually open spaces, preferably rocks, where every quoll in the area goes to poop. In one case, researchers found 100 deposits at one site. (Our condolences to whoever had to count those.) Right now, no one knows exactly why quolls do this. The best guess is, communal latrines are a social thing, allowing the quolls in an area to keep tabs on each other, like a newsletter or Facebook, but with stool samples.

Top Image: J J Harrison Second Image: Arnd Bergmann

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