Dinosaur Farts Caused Jurassic Global Warming
A lot of dinosaurs were big eating machines. Now, scientists have calculated how much gas they would have expelled as a result of their digestion--and the quantities they produced probably meant that they warmed their own climate through letting rip.
Scientists from Liverpool John Moore's University in the UK have calculated the methane output of sauropods--the dinosaur family which includes the species known as Brontosaurus--by comparing their digestive system to that of cows. The results predict that the world's population of dinosaurs would have produced around 520 million tonnes of methane annually. The research is published in Current Biology.
Sauropods were massive land animals that grazed on vegetation--but it's the microscopic organisms living inside them that were responsible for the gas. David Wilkinson, one of the researchers, explains to the BBC: