Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Dinosaur Farts?

Maybe the demise of the dinosaurs wasn't the result of a massive meteor crash or volcanic activity after all. According to a pair of British scientists, the giant beasts may have farted themselves into extinction.

The two researchers estimated that the dinos, particularly the plant-eating sauropods, produced 520 tons of methane a year, as much as is being produced today by man-made and natural sources. (Cows and other farm animals produce about 100 tons of methane a year.) They speculate that this was substantial enough to cause global warming, climate change and the eventual demise of the giant beasts.

You have to wonder how future portrayals of time travelers visiting the distant past might be done.  There certainly shouldn't be anyone commenting about how clean and unpolluted the air smells. And, instead of fleeing when they hear the roar of a tyrannosaurus rex, it should be a different sound that scares them.

If nothing else, this theory should result in one change.

In spelling.



  1. The news media like this version for the funny headline, but apparently what the paper really says is somewhat different:


    Also, as a commenter points out at the above link, certain folks are playing up the tabloid version as a way to scoff at scientific evidence of human-caused climate change. "Climate change is normal! Dinosaur farts did it! And I don't see any dinosaurs around here, do you? Haw haw!"

    (Besides, I know what really happened to the dinosaurs was that they were defeated by Hawkman and Captain Comet in 1977...!)

  2. I tend to believe the theory that it was the breaking apart of Pangea that eventually killed most of the dinosaurs... by disrupting the natural migratory patterns. I'm sure that was one factor. I find it hard to believe that there was a single event that killed off all of them.