Did Dinosaurs Destroy Their Own Climate?

A new theory about what killed off the dinosaurs:

Dinosaurs may be partly to blame for a change in climate because they created so much flatulence, according to leading scientists.

Professor Graeme Ruxton of St Andrews University, Scotland, said the giant animals spent 150 years emitting the potent global warming gas, methane.

Large plant-eating sauropods would have been the main culprits because of the huge amounts of greenery they consumed.

The team calculated the animals would have collectively produced more than 520m tons of methane a year – more than all today’s modern sources put together.

It is thought these huge amounts could easily have been enough to warm the planet.

It is even possible that the climate change was so catastrophic that it caused the dinosaurs eventual demise.

Sometimes, scientists are just 6th grade boys.

FILED UNDER: Environment, Quick Takes, Science & Technology
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. This is an old idea, but headline writers can definitely be puerile.

    FWIW, I think that a reign of 100+ million years wasn’t really a failure.

    I mentioned time compression in another thread. People fall to the idea that dinosaurs “failed” because they aren’t alive in our three score and ten. That’s not really the best frame of reference.

  2. Hey Norm says:

    Ruxton pulled this theory out of his a$$.

  3. al-Ameda says:

    Dinosaurs may be partly to blame for a change in climate because they created so much flatulence, according to leading scientists.

    Wow, perfectly analogous to the anti-climate change people.

  4. Franklin says:

    Quick, somebody, I need the dinosaur-equivalent term to “anthropomorphic” …

  5. michael reynolds says:

    Fartpocalypse.

  6. michael reynolds says:

    Fartosaurus?

  7. Hey Norm says:

    Perhaps the methane enriched atmosphere exploded when lit by the meteor that struck near the Yucatan…like lighting a fart in a dark room…

  8. Hey Norm says:

    …only bigger…

  9. Dinosaurs didn’t die off, they just evolved into birds.

  10. Tano says:

    Dinosaurs didn’t die off, they just evolved into birds.

    Thanks for making that important point. To be precise, some dino lineages did go extinct, others survived and evolved into birds.

  11. Ron Beasley says:

    @Stormy Dragon: Yes dinosaurs are still with us but the really big ones farted themselves to extinction. There may be a lesson there – or maybe not.
    There are new discoveries all the time that show that many dinosaurs had feathers. But of course both rats and humans have hair and the rats are more likely to survive a severe climate change.
    The dinosaurs evolved into birds but the existed at the same time and only the birds survived.

  12. @Ron Beasley:

    the really big ones farted themselves to extinction.

    There’s been repeated cycles over time of massive animals springing up and then dying out again, so it seems this is an unstable equilibrium for evolution: being enormous offers short term benefits to survivability, but seems to not be sustainable when everyone becomes enormous. It could be the methane thing, or it could just be a food competition issue.

  13. Barry says:

    Doug, this is frikkin’ stupid. Please read something on what’s going on, so that you know why it’s so stupid.