guano

noun
gua·​no | \ ˈgwä-(ˌ)nō How to pronounce guano (audio) \

Definition of guano

: a fertilizer containing the accumulated excrement of seabirds or bats broadly : excrement especially of seabirds or bats

Examples of guano in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web With fewer bats around, there is half as much guano collected as a decade ago. New York Times, "Thai Caves Attract Millions of Bats — and Now Scientists Too," 17 Jan. 2021 In the view of the guano collectors of Khao Chong Phran, which is not far from the frontier with Myanmar, the anxiety caused by bats is overblown. New York Times, "Thai Caves Attract Millions of Bats — and Now Scientists Too," 17 Jan. 2021 By roosting on the islands over the course of centuries, the birds built up deposits of guano as much as 100 feet deep, which were mined by Quechua peoples for some 1,500 years. Harold Mcgee, Wired, "The History of Poop Is Really the History of Technology," 6 Nov. 2020 Case studies from the Indian Ocean, focusing on rat-free islands with larger seabird populations, have found that the extra guano produces more plankton and algae, as well as faster growing fish that keep coral reefs clean and more productive. Kenneth R. Weiss, Science | AAAS, "To save this palm-filled paradise, biologists must kill the trees," 27 Aug. 2020 During the American Civil War, the Confederate Army mined guano from caves to bolster their supplies. Richard Kemeny, Smithsonian Magazine, "Ancient Bat Guano Reveals Thousands of Years of Human Impact on the Environment," 23 Jan. 2020 The birds catch fish and squid in the surrounding ocean, then rain nutrient-rich guano onto the soil, nurturing vegetation and the animals that feed on the plants. Kenneth R. Weiss, Science | AAAS, "To save this palm-filled paradise, biologists must kill the trees," 27 Aug. 2020 Most of these were in the guano, not from the swabs, which suggested that the droppings could be a major source of viral transmission. Max Kutner, Smithsonian Magazine, "Smithsonian Scientists Discover Six New Coronaviruses in Bats in Myanmar," 13 Apr. 2020 Next the scientists estimated the value produced by non-guano-producing seabirds, who also excrete nitrogen and phosphorus. Courtney Sexton, Smithsonian Magazine, "Seabird Poop Is Worth More Than $1 Billion Annually," 10 Aug. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'guano.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of guano

1604, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for guano

Spanish, from Quechua wanu fertilizer, dung

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Cite this Entry

“Guano.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/guano. Accessed 6 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for guano

guano

noun

English Language Learners Definition of guano

: waste material from birds and bats that is used to help plants grow

More from Merriam-Webster on guano

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for guano

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about guano

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