get the scoop on animal puke book cover image

Get the Scoop on Animal Puke!

  • 1495

By: Dawn Cusick

Budding scientists and animal behaviorists: get ready to be grossed out!

Remember the Seinfeld episode in which Jerry is very proud of his non-vomit streak of over thirteen years? Could Jerry have been missing out on something? Could he have been doing himself grievous harm? Many critters in the animal kingdom would think so.

“Ewwww” might be the first thought that comes to mind when thinking of puke, but animals use puke in dozens of advantageous ways. Puke can scare and distract predators, feed family and neighbors, protect animals from poisoning, aid with digestion, and so much more. Fun facts and cool photos will excite young science learners.

Did you know a cockroach will throw up in a predator’s mouth to keep from being feasted upon? It works for small predators, but a larger hunter won’t be put off by a little secret sauce. Many animals—like wolves, bears, and birds—feed their young with regurgitated food because their young cannot digest hard foods. Some animals, like rats and guinea pigs, cannot puke.

There are so many reasons and uses for puke, once you learn the science behind it, it doesn’t seem that bad.

Look Inside the Book:

Author & Illustrator Bios:

Dawn Cusick, author

Dawn Cusick enjoys making science education fun for both kids and adults. Dawn writes award-winning children's nature nonfiction books. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida, a certificate of post-Baccalaureate Major in Biology from the University of North Carolina-Asheville, and a Masters of Science in Biology from Western Carolina University. Her research work involves species' recognition and speciation in cryptic katydids. She teaches general biology and zoology courses at Haywood Community College.

Read more about Dawn.

Awards & Honors:

  • Scientist's Bookshelf Best Kids' Science Books of the Year
  • NSTA/CBC Outstanding Science Trade Books for Students K-12
  • Animal Behavior Society Outstanding Children's Book Award

Editorial Reviews:

Publishers Weekly

What do hyenas, proboscis monkeys, and vampire bats have in common? Vomit. This companion to Cusick’s Get the Scoop on Animal Poop! examines how and why various animals regurgitate their food. If the photographs of vomiting animals don’t win over readers, the colorful subtopics should, from “Toxic Puke Defense” (“When a bird eats a milkweed-feeding monarch, the bird throws up”) to “Puke Soup,” about creatures that liquefy their prey using digestive enzymes. Cusick presents the material in a (very) immediate manner, providing readers with plenty of science, humor, and animal behavior facts to chew over—and even regurgitate.

School Library Journal

This title will be a sure hit with the elementary-age crowd. Cusick describes a multitude of animals that have the ability to vomit, along with a handful that do not, including rats and horses. She explains the biological reasons why different species vomit, such as regurgitating food for young, protecting themselves from predators, expelling indigestible objects such as bones, and more. Termites, wasps, and yellow jackets build nests of regurgitated fiber; some species vomit out their entire stomach to rinse it out. The role of vomit in disease vectors such as mosquitoes and fleas is explained, and equally horrifying is the list of living things that eat vomit. A useful question-and-answer section about pet vomit is included, along with one about human puke. The book is illustrated with attractive color photographs, and includes two reproductions of art made by houseflies vomiting on canvas. Some vocabulary will be a stretch for younger readers, but the interesting topic, attractive layout, and easily digestible breakdown of ideas will keep them engaged. There are no recent titles for this age group that address this unique topic.

NSTA Recommends

Get the Scoop on Animal Puke! by Dawn Cusick is a very interesting book. Animal puke is often messy and disgusting, but did you know that it is a powerful tool for biologists to learn about an animal? Most people vomit because they are sick, but animals puke for lots of other reasons.

The book starts with a brief introduction on the idea of vomitting, then a brief language guide on the various terms associated with throwing up. A discussion of why animals puke is next, followed by numerous animals and how and why they puke. Did you know that some birds and reptiles vomit rocks? Or that some sharks and rays vomit up their own stomach? From albatross birds projectile vomiting fishy oil to protect themselves and their young from predators, to whales that vomit up squid beaks, to honeybees that vomit nectar and enzymes, this book has it all!

In fact, there are 251 cool facts in this book! Also included in this book is a glossary and a section on research and reading for more information about the facts, as well as a subject and organism index. This book would be a great addition to the elementary library. It has tons of interesting facts that are sure to interest the young readers in your class!


Download the Cover


ISBN: 978-1-62354-045-6

ISBN: 978-1-60734-571-8 EPUB
ISBN: 978-1-60734-707-1 PDF
For information about purchasing E-books, click here.

Ages: 7-10
Page count: 80
8 x 10

If you like this book, you’ll enjoy these:
Get the Scoop on Animal Poop!
Bubble Homes & Fish Farts
Behold the Beautiful Dung Beetle