Guano

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Description

The excrement from fish-eating birds and bats that typically accumulates along coastal rocks and in caves. Guano is high in nitrogen and phosphorus and is collected commercially as fertilizer and for the production of saltpeter. In public locations and historic sites, guano can be a significant problem by causing extensive damage and staining to stone, metal, and wood. Small amounts of guanine, a nucleic acid, are extracted from guano and used as a nacreous pigment called pearl essence.

Synonyms and Related Terms

bird droppings; bat droppings

Other Properties

Guano contains urea and is alkaline.

Sources Checked for Data in Record

  • G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971 Comment: p.323
  • Richard S. Lewis, Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 10th ed., 1993
  • The Merck Index, Martha Windholz (ed.), Merck Research Labs, Rahway NJ, 10th edition, 1983 Comment: entry 4594