Coprophagy in animals: a review

Cornell Vet. 1991 Oct;81(4):357-64.


Coprophagy is performed by rodents and lagomorphs and to a lesser degree by piglets, foals, dogs and nonhuman primates. Due to the construction of the digestive system of rodents and rabbits, coprophagy is necessary to supply many essential nutrients. Bacterial synthesis of nutrients occurs in the lower gastrointestinal tract in these animals where little absorption is realized. The eating of their feces provides a method for obtaining these nutrients.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animal Nutritional Physiological Phenomena*
  • Animals
  • Coprophagia*
  • Horses / physiology
  • Lagomorpha / physiology*
  • Primates / physiology
  • Rodentia / physiology*
  • Swine / physiology