An insanely constipated lizard has set the record for the biggest poop in comparison to the organism’s body size.
As published in the Herpetological Review, a team of herpetologists from the University of Florida were tracking down reptile samples when they came across a bulbous northern curly-tailed lizard as they came to a rest at a pizza joint. They were left astounded as they realised that the lizard was so big because it was constipated, holding in a massive poo.
Shockingly, the lizard’s poo was 80 per cent of its entire body mass and initially, PhD candidate Natalie Claunch said that she and her team just assumed the female lizard’s abnormally large size was because the lizard was ready to lay eggs. However, after a CT scan, it was confirmed that she was in fact holding in a ginormous poop.
Claunch said: “When we went to feel for eggs, it just felt like it was full of Silly Putty.”
Previously, the record for the biggest relative crap was held by a Burmese python that dropped a poop which was the equivalent of 13 per cent of its body mass.
Director of the Florida Museum’s Digital Discovery and Dissemination Laboratory, Edward Stanley said: “I was blown away by how little room there was left for all the other organs – if you look at the 3D model, it has only a tiny space leftover in its ribcage for the heart, lungs and liver.
“It must have been a very uncomfortable situation for the poor lizard.”
Typically, the northern curly-tailed lizard is found in Cuba, the Bahamas and the Cayman Islands but have become invasive to Florida. It is believed that they were intentionally released into the state in the early 1940s so that they could battle the sugarcane pests.
The typical diet for a northern curly-tailed lizard is bugs and other lizards, yet the omnivorous reptile will eat pretty much anything, even pizza grease dripped onto a sandy beach.
Claunch, who studies the northern curly-tailed lizard’s immune system, heat tolerance and adaptability in the lab of Christina Romagosa, who is the assistant research professor in the department of wildlife ecology and conservation, commented: “They’re like sparrows or gulls at a fry stand, without the chirping or swooping.”
Upsettingly, Claunch said that she and the team had no choice but to humanely euthanize the invasive lizard. Unfortunately, the unpassable piece of poop had caused the poor lizard to suffer from starvation. However, the turd will live on in scientific literature.
Claunch told Inverse: “We are unaware of any records from wild or captive animals that approach our finding.
“We hope for the sake of the individual animals that there are not any out there!”
Main Image Credit: Natalie Claunch/Florida Museum of Natural History