Why do humans need to wipe?

Forgive me if this has been asked, but I can’t search here.

While walking the dog, I was wondering why humans need to wipe after defecating while other animals just squeeze them out cleanly.
I don’t think it has to do with diet, a wide range of humans around the world have the same problem.
Is it because we now walk upright?
Because we have a rear that is too well padded?
Or just that we aren’t doing it right?

Well, diet has a little to do with it. Give one the right food and one can snap one off just like a dog, no mess, no fuss. Give the dog the wrong diet and he’ll come running over with little streaks of sloppy poo trailing down from his bottom.

The other main contributor would be our large butt cheeks.

That’s right – this particular buttock configuration is characteristic of us bipedal hominids. Besides, humans wear clothes – no chimp has to worry about skidmarks on his BVDs. FWIW I have seen cases of major dingleberry action on quadrupeds, so it’s more of a not-caring situation.

Probably because of our prominent gluteal muscles that we have as a direct consequence of walking upright.

Also if a Human squats down to poo rather than sits, they tend to come out cleaner (or so an Arabic friend and fan of squatee toilets would tell me).

Although dogs and cats don’t wipe, they do have, um, grooming habits.

Nuff said for me.

What you are describing is a ghost poop. You do your business, wipe and nothing’s there.

When I was a kid in grade school, now and then a truck would come onto the grounds and show us farm animals like cows, sheep, chickens, and shaggy goats. I happened to glance at the goat’s undercarriage, between the hind legs; and I understood why that area was soiled; it didn’t bother me much.

Having lived in India for some time, I can tell you this is true. Not to any great extent, but it does spread your buttcheeks wider.

Anyway, when in India you always wash immediately, no toilet paper there. Then you get up and your butt’s wet, but clean.

You must be a reader of Crapper’s Quarterly.

Good answers, I like the idea that we don’t squat like we used to now that we sit on toilets.

Is this a proof that humans are devolving because we need to wipe, or are we evolving because we are able to wipe?

As I understand it, in this case, there is no such thing as devolving. Not in any objective sense. Unless I horribly misunderstand evolution, which is possible since most of my education on it came from this board.

Regardless, there is no up or down in evolution. Only forward. If some strange environmental event happened, and humanity, over the next billion years slowly evolved into single-celled organisms, we would have evolved, not devolved. It’s moving forward. It may not be as “cool” as those bipedal butt-wipers of the 21st Century, but that hypothetical single celled organism that came from our genetic background would exist entirely and only because it was more able to survive in it’s environment than human beings would have been. We would know they are more suitable to survive that environment by the very nature of it existing there.

Evolution has no scheme, desires, goals or great plans. Fish didn’t start walking on land because Evolution thought it would be good to have land-walkers. Fish started walking on land because it made them more likely to live to an age where they could reproduce than they would have been had they not walked on land.

Needing to wash or wipe our backsides is the result of us evolving into bi-pedal creatures, and the result of the societal norm of not stinking like shit. Our disgust at the smell of shit is also the result of evolution, as not casting off ones own waste can lead to serious (and potentially life threatening) illness.

So, butt-wiping is the result of evolution. It was not a goal of evolution.


Perhaps, but it’s much harder to read the newspaper (or Victoria Secret’s catalog, if you like) while squatting.

Hehe. You haven’t looked too closely at other animals then. Take a look at a cow sometime. There is crap all over the base of the tail and the vagina. The same is true of pigs on most foods.

Animals come in a few basic models. Animals like rabbits and sheep are desert critters and extract most of the water form their faeces before expelling it. They produce nice clean pellets as a result. Animals like humans and cattle aren’t so good at extracting water and we make a mess. Dogs tend to be reasonably clean and their anatomy eliminates most mess. But by no means are humans the only animals that have shit stick to their fur.

Because like bears, and unlike rabbits, s**t sticks to our fur.

badum, dum dum. :smiley:
I’ll be here all week, don’t forget to tip your waitress.

Took the joke right outta my brain, you did! :smiley:

That accords with my understanding.

However, while evolution isn’t, as it is thought of, necessarily making more complicated and better things, it is true that more complicated things come later, because we started with something simple. So thje idea of ‘devolving’ meaning ‘evolving to something less complicated’ isn’t worthless. For instance, it’s probably easier to devolve: you need a lot of really lucky mutations/combinations to get an eye. Quite a lot would REMOVE an eye.

Thanks for the explanation, Blake. I think water extraction would be a nice feature for humans to have.
I wonder if I drank less than a cup a day I could develop this and create easy to dispose of pellets?
Or is that speeding up evolution a bit too much?

You’d have to drink quite a bit less water than that to concentrate your poo. The desert animals have evolved like that because retaining more of your water in such an arid climate confers obvious benefits. You’d have to be fairly dehydrated before it started coming out in pellet form. It’s just like when you pee: if you’re dehydrated your urine will contain much higher concentrations of urea and thus be yellower and smellier. If you’ve drank a lot recently, it’ll come out more clear colored.

A preacher was discussing sex with some of his male flock, trying to dissuade them from temptations of the flesh. At one point, he said “I don’t know what the fuss is about - when you get down to it, sex doesn’t feel any better than taking a good dump.”

To which a man replied “preacher, either you don’t know how to fck, or I don’t know how to sht!”