Did dinosaurs fart their way to extinction?

Did dinosaurs fart their way to extinction?

Dinosaurs smell, it's official!

Scientists say that dinosaurs could have raised the Earth's temperature by producing lots of methane in their farts.

Researchers calculated the amount of methane produced by sauropods, giant vegetarian dinosaurs.

Did you know_farting dinosaurs

Researchers measured how much methane is produced by a horse and scaled it up to sauropod size. They calculated that dinosaurs could produce 520 million tonnes of methane every year!

Methane is produced by bacteria that live in the intestines of some plant-eating animals, such as cows and camels. Researchers think that sauropods would have had methane-producing bacteria in their intestines to help digest their plant foods.

Cow_91702531

Cows smell too! Methane-producing bacteria live inside the intestines of cows, helping the cows to digest their food

Around 250 million years ago, when the dinosaurs roamed the planet, the Earth was up to 10 Celsius warmer. Researchers think that the methane produced by dinosaurs could have caused the Earth to become warmer.

We can't be sure exactly what types of bacteria lived in sauropod intestines and how much methane they made. It's unlikely that rising temperatures caused the dinosaurs to go extinct. Most scientists think that a meteor or a volcano caused catastrophic climate change, which wiped out the dinosaurs.

Why does methane raise the Earth's temperature?

Methane is a greenhouse gas. It traps infrared radiation from the Sun within the Earth's atmosphere. The trapped infrared radiation causes the Earth's temperature to rise.

Climate change and global warming_108723130

Methane traps infrared radiation in the Earth's atmosphere, which raises temperatures

Other animals around at the same time as the dinosaurs would have produced methane too. The total level of methane would have been much higher than the level of methane produced now.

However, many scientists are worried about the amount of methane produced at the moment. Cows farmed for meat and dairy produce around 100 million tonnes of methane per year.

There are other sources of methane production too. Many scientists think that methane is contributing to global warming and climate change.

Curriculum information

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