Home 2018-05-14T17:48:20+00:00

About this project


Watercolors by Erin McKenney

The shape, or morphology, of the gut makes a huge difference in what an animal can eat and digest. But gut diagrams are only available for a handful of species – and we have no idea how much one individual varies from another. By taking pictures of the guts of each animal you harvest, you can help map the unknown guts of wildlife.

Use one-click registration to sign up for Got Guts? below:

SciStarter_Icon If you prefer to sign up with a pre-existing social media account, visit our Got Guts? page on SciStarter.com.

Materials List

  • Knife
  • Scale object (e.g. ruler, coin, shotgun shell, or any other object of known length)
  • Camera / phone

How to participate

Participate-Step1_Hunt-Fish Step 1: Go hunting or fishing as usual.
Participate-Step2_whole-body Step 2: Take a picture of the whole body, with a coin or other scale object of known length.

LEFT: For deer and other large animals, photograph the hind limb from the toes (hoof) to tarsus.

Participate-Step3_dissect-gut Step 3: Remove the entire digestive tract from the animal, and locate the cecum.

LEFT: In mammals and birds, the cecum is a pouch between the small and large intestines.

RIGHT: In fish, the cecum is a collection of “finger-like” pouches, just after the stomach.

Participate-Step4_photograph-cecum Step 4: Lay the cecum out to its full length, and take a picture with the same coin or other scale object.

RIGHT: for fish, make sure that the full length of each “finger” is visible.


Upload your photos to SciStarter.com

Images by Erin McKenney


Fish instructions
Deer instructions
Rabbit instructions


Contact us at gutsyscience@gmail.com