Real life

It is a biological fact that wombat faeces are approximately cube shaped. Wombat poop: Scientists reveal mystery behind cube-shaped droppings

enter image description here

It is also the case that wombats tend to make piles of poop although these piles are somewhat random in shape.


In a fictional world wombats have evolved to be more and more intelligent and have now reached a stage where they build actual houses and enclosures from their cube-shaped droppings.


How can the wombats make effective door furniture (hinges, latches etc.) purely from natural materials?


There is no contact with humans or other intelligent life-forms.

The wombats are pre-stone-age (they cannot shape stone) so everything they make must be of natural materials from their local habitat. They have not yet discovered the secret of fire.

Wombats make mortar/glue for their structures by eating a plant that gives them diarrhoea. They poop this between the layers of 'bricks' to stick them together. A so-called "dry" wombat and "wet" wombat pair can build as a team.

To a limited extent, they can pour diarrhoea into crude moulds that are left in the sun to dry.

Smaller artefacts such as tables and chairs can be made from gluing together the smaller droppings of juveniles.

Rather annoyingly for them, the wombats have developed opposable thumbs on their hind-feet but not their fore-feet. By making a hollow in the ground, they can lean back and use all four feet to do reasonably difficult things such as tie basic knots.

Picture of real-world wombat hind feet enter image description here

Please ask for more details as necessary before answering.

  • $\begingroup$ Do the wombats have opposable thumbs as well as intelligence? Also note that wombat poop crumbles easily, unlike wombats themselves it is not at all impact-resistant. $\endgroup$ Apr 30, 2021 at 12:16
  • $\begingroup$ @KerrAvon2055 - added to Assumptions. Suggestions for strengthening the poop welcomed. Although non-crumbly poop could have evolved as well if necessary $\endgroup$ Apr 30, 2021 at 13:43
  • $\begingroup$ VTC: story based, as premise has nothing to do with the question. If u like the substance to be in list of natural materials, fine tell your story u envision. Wood is perfectly natural material and can be, is and was used for purposes in question. More so it useful on smaller scale, more of it awailable on demand, chewy. $\endgroup$
    – MolbOrg
    May 1, 2021 at 9:38

3 Answers 3


If their droppings can be used to glue things together, they can use them to glue branches and twigs in a shape suitable to close the entrance, in a fashion similar to those in the pics (without the white ropes)

enter image description here

Until few decades ago in my home region farmers used to build recoveries in dry masonry using only stones, and the only thing they used as door where exactly those you see in the pic.

Metal or wooden doors were a luxury which became available way later, and there was no need for hinges and latches.

Your wombat can do the same.


Your wombats are essentially pooping mudbricks, so the easiest way to strengthen them would involve either breaking them apart and mixing in other materials (less fun and runs counter to your vision), or perhaps by altering their diet some more.

Since you already have a mortar specialist suffering diarrhea in the name of progress, perhaps the other wombat does the reverse - eats a bunch of solid material that'll stay solid all the way though to act as a temper - perhaps a particularly indigestible straw or rice husk equivalent to solidify and add strength to the literal bricks they'll be pushing out.

As mentioned by L. Dutch, doors and hinges are actually very advanced technology - these neolithic wombats are likely hanging skins or woven grass over their doors for a simple separation, or putting bundles of straw or similar in front of the door if something sturdier or more insulating is needed.

Finally, I hope both these workers are compensated appropriately - I have enough of a love-hate relationship with bricklaying without having to pass the bricks first!

  • $\begingroup$ @PcMan Per OP: They have not yet discovered the secret of fire. Wombats can only cure bricks under the summer sun. It is probably not sufficient to make them harder. $\endgroup$
    – Otkin
    May 1, 2021 at 6:12
  • $\begingroup$ @Otkin oops, correct. wow. no fire, no stone. Without those, also no significant woodworking. Reed and grass weaving would be the pinnacle of technology for them? definitely owch. $\endgroup$
    – PcMan
    May 1, 2021 at 10:40
  • $\begingroup$ @PcMan They can build mud huts (probably more efficient than brick houses anyway) and use rags for doors and window. $\endgroup$
    – Otkin
    May 2, 2021 at 18:14

There is no need for hinges and latches at this stage of technical development. A much more efficient approach would be building mudhuts and weaving rags for cover window and door openings. Rags can be glued or partially embedded into mud during the hut construction.

Use poop-bricks for furniture inside. That would help with brick softening/crumbling and other negative effects due to exposure to elements.


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