In the scene from Primeval S1E05 around 26:43, a team member tastes the Pteranodon dung. It reminded me of the famous Jurassic Park scene with Triceratops poop. Except now the paleontologist is going beyond examination, and tasting the poop! Is tasting the poop just a gag to evoke reactions, or is there some actual science?
I've seen a couple of wildlife programmes in which the presenter has tasted elephant dung.
The rationale is that you can determine the sex of the elephant from the taste of its dung and so can judge if you are likely to encounter a herd that could be a danger to you.
Female dung is sweeter.
Trying to track down evidence for this, all I've found is a couple of articles:
- "Diary of a traveller: tasting elephant dung" on NewZimbabwe.com
- "Spotter tasting elephant dung" by Maggie McArthur on Flickr
So yes, there is some science behind it.
Also, Bear Grylls has eaten it in one or two of his programmes, but I wouldn't necessarily call that scientific!
Pre-modern doctors reportedly tasted urine to diagnose certain diseases such as diabetes:
Slightly different bodily secretion, but confirms that there is some precedent to back up the Elephant dung tasting mentioned by @Chenmunka (although I have no explanation for Bear Grylls;)