Is a photo of entrails too offensive for iNaturalist?

I’d say post it. Yes, many animals can be identified pretty well from entrails. And as for the predator, I have seen weasels (Mustela frenata) do this quite neatly with rodent or rabbit prey. The idea I believe is that if the predator is a strict carnivore, it bypasses a digestive tract full of plant material (so maybe cats too). I know we don’t do ID’s on the forum, but that’s to suggest what can be detected from the photo.


Yeah, I think if that is done, its effect should be limited to, maybe, vertebrates only, or those plus additional selected groups. I don’t think someone selecting this option would also be sensitive to, say, a pine cone on the ground, or maybe even an insect on a car grill?

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You making it difficult. I dont want to see dead insects on a car grill. But big dead animals with bugs that eat them.
The User should be able to decide by a taxonomic include/exclude list.
Most of the time i would exclude dead insects and plants but include animals.
But some times dead plants are interesting too, or dead insects. It can be a hint for some scientific stuff that is going on. If in a region all insects are dead it could be interessting to find such regions where they die.

This can already be done with the standard filter options for whatever taxa are “interesting.”

What we are talking about is an account setting to specifically mute observations that a user believes would be emotionally upsetting to them. Different issue.


For me, it’s just a courtesy thing and not a requirement as such. A little “heads up, this next one is a bit gory, maybe don’t view while you are eating that ham sandwich” kind of thing. I don’t think it needs to be filtered out, just a little advanced warning so the viewers/identifiers can decide if they want to proceed to viewing it or not.

If someone is truly that vulnerable to emotional harm from viewing a photo of such things as are likely in iNaturalist, then I think they should be looking to “safer” nature viewing options such as nature books in libraries and perhaps social photo sharing groups like they have in facebook. or flickr, where they can better control what they are exposed to.


I agree on that

Would you say the same thing to a 13 year old kid (or their parent) who was otherwise enthusiastic about joining the iNat community?


I would.
I do not want to be rude, but if they can eat a hamburger they also can face the reality behind it.
Death is a part of of life.
Life forms do not just disappear, they get eaten or decomposted, if people are interested in biology they should know this. Else they can go into a supermarket and buy some meat that comes out of the nothing and eat it like a wild animal.


Yes. There is a difference between emotionally upsetting and emotional harm. Emotionally upsetting encounters can be very powerful in connecting people back to nature. Emotional harm is where you might suffer nightmares and panic attacks as a result, leading to consequences in other areas of your life. I would say to any parent and their 13 year old child, there is the possibility in iNat of encountering photos of roadkill and such like, if you or your child are likely to suffer emotional HARM from that, then maybe stick to books about the prettier parts of nature. But if seeing roadkill just makes you squeamish, then hopefully they are made much more aware of the carnage on the road! Maybe that 13 year old grows up to invent a new roading method that is safer for animals that live near roads!

Not really helpful here, that is a different debate entirely. This discussion is about how people react to images of dead animals, and what the iNat threshold should be for “too offensive” in that regard. It has nothing to do with what they eat, or where they think their food comes from. Incidentally, I agree… we are far too removed from the processes involved in a lot of what we consume, both food and product.


I feel offended if a fly dies in a car grill.
In the other hand i understand there are cases where animals must get killed to determine if they are male or female, if it for science, it is so.
Some times scientists kill thousands of insects just to estimate the size of a population, this is how it works.
I feel offended if one unroots a plant just to get a cool picture.
in the other hand if it is for science, i can understand it.

when i do observations i always try to do them non-invasive.
i kneel on the dirt and try to get a picture from below a mushroom, others just chop them take a picture and throw the mushrom away because they dont know if it is a toxic one or not until they get an ID.

some animals are involved in decomposting stuff, this can involve other dead animals, so there is no way to document theyr natural behave with out to show what they do, and what they do is eating dead animals.

some times people find a trace of an animal, this is the evidence of the existence of a species in a region. some times the species is a dead trace. to document the spread of an species this trace can be important.

i think as long animals die naturaly or scientific its ok, and even to a 13 years old.

if they do a work for school and search for the difference between a male and female bug it can happen there is no way aound dead bugs

its hard to tell where it could harm people or not or to decide which animals are less worth and as such less offending when dead.

To some is a dead fly not offending, its just a dead fly in the grill of a car.
to other it is offending.
Why is it more offending if it is a dead elephant, just because it is a big animal?
so what is a big animal and what is a small animal?
is a rat a small animal, why should be a dead rat a problem there exist many?
why should a dead and not be a problem, just because some one decides it is small in his personal eyes?

If there is an alive/dead options it must get appied on all life forms, there should not be some more worth or less because some humans think they have the god mode to decide.
a dead plant is dead and can be the same offending to some as a dead lion
a dead bacteria has not less worth or rights just because it is a small species.

in my understanding its all have the same right.
but then again in winter many plants die, so they should also be respected and people who are offended of an dead rhino should also be offended of an dead mais

but what hapens if it come to dead neanderthals, they are very near to what we understand as humans, in scholl ho one has a problem with bones from dinosaur, so why are bones of a horse a problem?

some how there is not just the question about sentimental or emotional components but also the question about ethical components… and i still think same rights to all beings.
if some one does not want to see dead beings it is ok, but this includes dinosaur, bacteria, ants, bugs, plants, and so on. … else some one must decide which beings are not important in nature and which one are more worth than others… i think this is a no go

so who want to see bones of a neanderthal can also view a dead animal or plant
and if you dont want to see dead animals you should also not see dead bacteria or plants

its just my idea of same rights

That’s a good point too, some projects are specifically for animal remains so it would be easier to find them that way.


Oh wow, I did not see the other responses. I don’t think it’s fair for us to judge what is and isn’t emotionally harmful for children or other sensitive individuals. Remember, we share this site with a diverse range of people of all backgrounds, experiences, and mental states. I’ve seen this topic come up enough times(and usually from someone wanting to upload an observation rather than anyone complaining or upset by it in fact!) that adding an ability to flag seems like a very reasonable addition.

It’s reasonable because the inclusion of the option only helps people who want to filter it out, and doesn’t affect anyone not bothered by it. If you’re ok with seeing evidence of death/gore, just don’t use the filter! It doesn’t take much time to tag an observation either, it could be added to the annotations section so while you tag life stage and other such things you can just click the death/gore tag as well.


Not a problem at all. As specified in our Community Guidelines:

While we do not endorse killing or fatally injuring animals just for the sake of contributing to iNaturalist, as naturalists we all encounter such scenes in our explorations, for example in the form of road kill and recent predation events (including predation by humans). While these kinds of images can be disturbing for some people, they can also be interesting, and provide the same kind of scientifically relevant occurrence data as an image of a living creature. Very often they demonstrate some aspect of the life history of the organisms involved, or may even provide information relevant to the conservation of the organism in question.

If we added that kind of Annotation, it should be restricted to animals. @bouteloua pointed out awhile back that such an annotation would be an issue for plants, because many users don’t know the difference between a plant that is dead and a one that is a perennial in an “off” season (autumn/winter).

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I think that sounds fair, and there aren’t likely any users who would be upset by the sight of a dead plant either. Well, unless they really really love botany :)

To mark dead or alive is an interesting option.
My question is just what is gore?
We can say dead life forms are gore.
If it is a plant or a bacteria or an animal makes no difference.
If one chops a orchid it is gore to some while others could not care less.
If it is a dead elephant its not gore to some while others freakout
And no one should say if it is just an ant its not gore or if it is just a fungi its ok
Dead is dead alive is alive, every species has the same rights.

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No, I don’t think anyone would call a chopped up orchid gore. Gore is more like entrails, blood, organs, fluids… Imagine a horror movie, that’s gore. An intact dead animal wouldn’t count as gore, but would count as dead.

This is a very individual definition.
Of course i get what you mean, but its realy a difuse line between sectioning and gore.
Some passout if thes see a open rat,others dont but a bug or ant has not less rights, so if an opened rat is gore, an opened bug is too.
And even plants or fungi have rights, even if we are not aware of them.
One point is about the definition of gore which can be or is difuse, the other point is an ethical issue.
As you say it, to you a chopped orchid is not gore, to others this is heart breaking and the pure horror. May to you its not a problem if dead trees are displayed, but a sensitive person may knows it is a rare species and has grew for some hundert years and to kill this tree is horror.
The line in that is realy difuse.
in the other hand the line between dead or alive is less difuse and from an ethical point it applies on every species and individual the same.
But there also rises a problematic point, if you ovserve a mushroom on a dead plant or animal, how do you decide? is the dead animal gore or is the mushroom not gore? Its realy difficult.

I have never heard of someone getting upset over cut onions, though it may bring a tear or two.


onions are a large group, some are fine to eat some are toxic, some are very rare, if you cut a endangered onion that is a nearly dead species it is the pure horror to people who are aware of it.
So again you see how difuse it is if you decide based on guessings and feelings, you may quickly denie some rights to a species because you just saw it from your kitchen.


Which is why so many people don’t bother with trying to preserve nature. To many people take it to extremes, so others decide not to even both with it.