Cool Jobs: Delving into dung

Scientists uncover fascinating secrets through the study of animal feces

By Roberta Kwok, 20:56 PM January 23, 2013

Sam Wasser’s team has trained dogs to search for the poop of rare animals. Here, a dog named Mason finds maned wolf dung in Brazil. Credit: Matt Baker

This is one in a series on careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics made possible by support from the Northrop Grumman Foundation.

Beginning in the late 1970s, Sam Wasser spent years following wild yellow baboons across Tanzania, a country in Africa. Wasser wanted to measure chemicals called hormones in the female monkeys to better understand their reproductive patterns. But the biologist didn’t want to stress the baboons by capturing the animals and sampling their bloo...

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