By whom it was dealt

According to protocol, that’s also by whom it was smelt. In the meantime, let’s blame the dinosaurs, shall we?

Dinosauras may have been partly to blame for climate change in their time because their diets meant they emitted vast clouds of methane, a powerful global warming gas, scientists say.

The key culprits were the giant plant-eating sauropods, which spent 150 million years plodding around the planet eating ferns and burping and farting methane.

I have no personal (or reptilian) experience to cite here, but if a fern fart is anything like a broccoli fart, then it might be the gas itself that killed them, not the alleged warming. I’ve seen people drop like flies after a trip to the salad bar.

Professor Graeme Ruxton of St. Andrews University and his colleagues have calculated that the animals collectively would have produced more than 520 million tonnes of methane a year. This, they suggest, would have easily been enough to warm the planet.

Squirrely has his doubts:

The planet is very marginally able to support a few billions of 150 pound (plus or minus) human beings and Doctors Ruxton and Wilkinson tell us that there were billions of 90-ton reptiles roaming the planet during the Cretaceous. Seriously?

In the absence of actual humans, it’s standard procedure to bump up the Quality of Life numbers by a couple of orders of magnitude, inasmuch as Homo sapiens is pretty much defined as an evil little organism that won’t do what it’s told by its betters.

Me, I tend to be a bit less fatalistic: I give thanks to those 90-ton reptiles, whatever their number, every time I pass a Sinclair station.


  1. fillyjonk »

    8 May 2012 · 9:25 am

    All climate change study aside, my inner 9 year old loves this study. Farting dinosaurs. I should have become a paleontologist.

  2. Teresa »

    8 May 2012 · 10:08 am

    That story made me giggle. Talk about reaching for anything to support your theories. I love it!

  3. nightfly »

    8 May 2012 · 2:02 pm

    Rather like cattle today. If it lends credence to anything, it’s the picture of Fred Flintstone chowing down at the local drive-up eatery.

  4. Jeff Brokaw »

    8 May 2012 · 5:32 pm

    If some dude stood on a street corner and yelled “dinosaurs farted their way to extinction!”, everybody would put their head down and rush past him, or look the other way. Picture, say, Jim Ignitowski from Taxi.

    And that’s pretty much the level of respect it deserves, I’d say.

  5. Jeffro »

    8 May 2012 · 6:52 pm

    The cattle of today are just gonna have to step it up. Just sayin.’

  6. Dan B »

    9 May 2012 · 1:28 am

    Very few of the dinosaurs were 90 tons. If one were to do a weighted average of the size of the dinosaurs of a particular period, one would likely find the average probably around 300 lbs, which would be right at home in the Golden Corral buffet line.

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