Take the 2-minute tour ×
Role-playing Games Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for gamemasters and players of tabletop, paper-and-pencil role-playing games. It's 100% free, no registration required.

We know that horses do not have control of their bowels when they march down the street. The question is... do centaurs?

Would it be a question of intelligence versus animal intelligence? Or is it a physiological issue?

share|improve this question

closed as primarily opinion-based by Oblivious Sage, doppelgreener, GMJoe, SevenSidedDie, BESW Jun 5 at 4:24

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

    
Discuss question validity on meta here: meta.rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/3679/… –  mxyzplk Jun 6 at 3:12

1 Answer 1

up vote 17 down vote accepted

Actually, from a strictly real-world biological point of view, we know that horses can control their bowel movements - they have two anal sphincters, one under conscious control, just the same as humans. However, horses have two issues that lead to their defecating in the street:

  1. Horses are typically not trained to withhold defecation
  2. Horses eat large volumes of food that is not substantially changed by their digestive processes.

These two points lead to horses defecating wherever and whenever bowel pressure dictates.

Since some people keep miniature horses in their houses and successfully train the aforementioned miniature horses to not defecate indoors (See here), it can be concluded that horses can be trained and maintain conscious control over their bowels. The average horse-in-the-street just doesn't care where it defecates - and has a physiological necessity to defecate frequently - every 45 minutes or so.

So, to answer your question, unless the centaurs in question want to act like animals, even in the absence of any centaur cultural requirement about location of defecation, there is no reason why a centaur in mixed-species company wouldn't be able to learn pretty quickly that defecating in public is a social no-no, and have the physiological equipment to prevent inadvertent defecation.

In addition, centaurs may have a physiology that includes higher-quality food than horses - a humanoid-sized dentition, even if modified for a herbivorous diet, would practically necessitate richer food - which would lead to a greater reduction in volume as the food travelled down the centaur's gut, thus necessitating less frequent defecation.

share|improve this answer
10  
I have learned a lot today about horse physiology that I did not expect to learn. –  doppelgreener Jun 5 at 7:44
    
yea me too I did not think this would get answered but I love the person who did. –  Pro756 Jun 23 at 3:14

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.