Did dinosaurs cause climate change? Huge creatures may have contributed to their own demise because they produced so much flatulence, say scientists

Did Dino-Farts Cause Global Warming?

By Pamela Owen

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.

Read the rest at the UK’s Daily Mail.

40 Responses to Did dinosaurs cause climate change? Huge creatures may have contributed to their own demise because they produced so much flatulence, say scientists

  1. Rob N. Hood May 7, 2012 at 2:30 pm #

    No one (except…!) disputes that methane is a powerful green-house gas. Just knew that Dan and/or his overlords would jump on the “look how funny the greenies and dinosaur farting story is”! Methane from grazing animals and melting tundra/permafrost might become a crucial issue in our own time. Course, that’s hilariously funny too. I hope this site has gotten the Ok from Hanna-Barbara to use their copyrighted cartoon above. (Now, enter Neil to lecture me about copyright infringement law and my own past guiltiness, etc. blah etc. blah). Let the games begin…

  2. NEILIO May 7, 2012 at 4:23 pm #

    Wrong RNH, Idon’t know a thing about copyright laws.
    My first thoughts reading this were how do they know what the chemical composition of dinosour farts were? How did they know what the population of dinosours was? And how do they know what the digestive processes of the dinosours were? This is just a guess, at best. I don’t see how this can be considered as any kind of a serious scientific study because there are too many unknowns and the gaps would have to be filled in by speculation and imagination. Even if this were built on a foundation of rock solid facts, what bearing does it have on the alleged modern day AGW?

    • NEILIO May 7, 2012 at 6:01 pm #

      Dinasours? I meant dinasaurs………………. woops

      • NEILIO May 7, 2012 at 6:04 pm #

        OMG! I am having extreme difficulty spelling today. It’s not even dinasaurs its dinosaurs…………..GOD $%^& IT!

    • Rob N. Hood May 8, 2012 at 2:44 pm #

      What about plagarizing? Seems to me… well, nevermind. Your passive-aggressive game playing is very tiresome.

      • NEILIO May 11, 2012 at 5:38 pm #

        The kind of plagerizing you do is not illegal as this is not a college paper. But I do find it irritating and self serving for you to do so, and I don’t like it. I also think it is unfair to the authors that you steal them from. You are taking their intellectual property and presenting it as your own. But hey, if you you can’t take the criticism, don’t do it, you big baby. Now if Dan is using the image of Dino illegally, well, he will pay the consequences for doing so if he gets busted. And I don’t think anyone believes that Dan drew the picture either. As far as the intellectual property thing goes, the Flintstones ended production in 1966, I think they have probably made as much money as they possibly could have off of Dino by now, and Dan is not making any money off of the image, so who cares?

        • Dan McGrath May 11, 2012 at 7:30 pm #

          Getting personal. Don’t call Rob a baby, or any other derogatory term. As to Dino — as if it’s relevant — The image is used in a parody and commentary fashion and is governed by fair use under US copyright laws. If Hanna – Barbara objects, they can submit a cease and desist letter, which we would honor, because it’s not big deal to us.

          • NEILIO May 11, 2012 at 8:23 pm #

            I was being nice!

          • NEILIO May 11, 2012 at 10:47 pm #

            Ok, RNH I apologise for calling you a big baby. I think your complaint is not valid as there is no comparison between Dan using a picture of Dino, and you copying and pasting writings of others without giving them credit, or posting a link.

          • Rob N. Hood May 15, 2012 at 10:35 am #

            Thanks Dan. Neil has pretty pat answers to everything, except real questions directed at him. So it goes. And Dan’s use of an original cartoon is JUST the same as me posting things from other sources and not always citing the source. Plus, I Don’t Care who or what the source it for ANY of it- even Neil’s stuff (it’s all one-sided biased sources mainly anyway). It’s the data, info, etc. that is important. That is what should and can be discussed here, not all this other childish crap. I brought up the cartoon thing because Neil does that to me a lot, and when the shoe is on the other foot he loses it, again.

        • Rob N. Hood May 15, 2012 at 11:30 am #

          Thought you said you knew nothing about it? I knew you’d like to weigh in on it. You can’t resist the opportunity to bark and snarl.

  3. joe May 7, 2012 at 11:46 pm #

    It’s Ok Neilio, I’m one fingered. Does your spellingt matter? No. You got your point across. That’s all that matters.

    • NEILIO May 8, 2012 at 4:39 am #

      Thanks Joe. It doesn’t really matter but I do get a little frustrated when can’t even spell the word right when I correct myself!

  4. Rob N. Hood May 8, 2012 at 2:41 pm #

    Hmmm. I remember a time not so long ago that Joe got all over my ash because of lack of spell check… more than once actually. But hey, that’s just nit-picking sour-grapes and whining. It’s nice to see all the love above. Warms one’s cockles. Now- Neil, here we go again: There seems to be an issue with regards to experts and scientists, that keeps popping up here, oddly enough. Not really odd for a right-wing site, but anyway… I believe, and anyone (but Joe) can correct me if I’m wrong, but I think the experts know which dinos were meat eaters, plant eaters, omnivores maybe not so much, but you get the idea. Plus, based upon basic biological knowledge (let’s face it, these creatures lived HERE, not Mars, and ate Earth Plants, and well, anyway it’s a very edcuated guess let’s put it that way that methane was, uh hum, a biproduct. But I guess since no human being was there at said time, to have such data Notorized, well tough tadpoles, the skeptics will keep on keeping on. Being a skeptic appears to be as easy as falling off a log.

    • NEILIO May 11, 2012 at 11:04 pm #

      It would appear that you actually agree with what I’m saying, because I’m pretty shure that I said that “there are too many unknowns and the gaps would have to be filled in by speculation and imagination.” Which believe it or not is the very definition of an educated guess. And the scientific method which is to: Ask a Question, Do Background Research, Construct a Hypothesis, Test Your Hypothesis by Doing an Experiment, Analyze Your Data and Draw a Conclusion, and Communicate Your Results, does not include educated guesses. What was the experiment they used to test the hypothesis? As far as I can tell, they skipped that step, and that is why I said: “I don’t see how this can be considered as any kind of a serious scientific study”. They did the first three steps, but then they skipped to drawing a conclusion. It’s junk science.

      • NEILIO May 12, 2012 at 8:34 pm #

        Some of the unknows are: the total population of dinosours, the length and composition of their intestinal tracts, the kind and types of bacteria that resided in their bowels, the exact chemical composition of their diet……., I’m shure I could come up with more but you get the idea. And I am just a wrench turner! If these so called scientists didn’t ask these questions, or these kinds of questions, that makes them biased and partisan at best, incompetent and addle brained at worst.

        • NEILIO May 12, 2012 at 9:32 pm #

          Oh, I take that back, they probably did ask those questions. They just answered them with educated guesses……. I guess.

          • NEILIO May 12, 2012 at 11:58 pm #

            I can’t spell dinosaurs, I don’t know why I keep spelling it dino-sours. Hey that’d be a good name for a sour candy shaped like little dinosaurs.

      • Rob N. Hood May 15, 2012 at 11:38 am #

        Nope, you missed my point completely, again. I was enphasizing your emphasis that there were no humans there to notorize and take a worldwide door-to door census of dinosaurs, (“too many unknowns”) so how the heck could we KNOW?! We KNOW lots of things… via Science. You seem science was initially invented (more or less) for things humans could not witness or verify first hand. Get it? Maybe sorta? And that we’re not talking about some alien planet, with weird alien planet foliage processed by alien planet guts…

  5. joe May 8, 2012 at 11:58 pm #

    I’m on the way to Ireland next week for the heck of it and so you say I must not partake in cabbage as well as Irish pub food? My God, I thought I would save on my petro bill without a human gas pump. Guess not. Don’t want to cause global warming do I? Global warming, what an Al Gore financial joke and I’m being nice tonight.

  6. Rob N. Hood May 10, 2012 at 7:16 am #

    Big government on social issues = Good.
    Big government on business = Bad.
    Government for and by the people?
    Probably not.
    Get right, think Left.

    • NEILIO May 12, 2012 at 4:58 pm #

      Big government is not good. PERIOD.

  7. Rob N. Hood May 11, 2012 at 8:56 am #

    For a generation, America’s political-economy has been gripped in a vicious cycle. Those at the top of the economic pile have taken an ever-growing share of the nation’s income, and then leveraged that haul into ever-greater political power, which they have in turn used to rewrite the rules of “the market” in their favor. Wash, rinse and repeat.

    It’s the result of years of institutional investments by the corporate Right to advance a reactionary legal regime in America’s courts. In the process, the richest Americans now have their hands in both our legislative and judicial branches, while working America has become a voiceless stepping stone.

    • NEILIO May 11, 2012 at 5:04 pm #

      Back to the class warfare again?

      • Rob N. Hood May 14, 2012 at 12:11 pm #

        Only you Rightys call it that. Because you think people like me are wanting to prey upon you. When in REALITY the wealthy elite are preying on us both. In that sense it is class warfare, and WE are losing. Plus it was Reagan who resurrected the gilded age- the undemocratic and unamerican rise of the wealthy to extreme levels of wealth and power. We are living its result, and paying the price. We smartly ended the previous gilded age, in a bipartisan manner more or less. We need to so so again. So clear those cobwebs of propaganda out of the belfry and get with it.

  8. Joe May 11, 2012 at 7:58 pm #

    What’s new Neilio? Some things or should I say some people’s ideology never changes.

  9. Rob N. Hood May 13, 2012 at 7:23 am #

    It’s all about that isn’t it? And the Left didnt’ start classism. St. Reagan did. The Left is what’s being attacked and yet the Right call it a war- to pretend they are it’s victims. Clever strategy. Blame the real victim.

    • NEILIO May 14, 2012 at 5:21 pm #

      How did you get here? Did you actually take a ship through the vast distance between stars? Or did you cross some kind of dimensional bridge from one dimension to this one?

      • Rob N. Hood May 15, 2012 at 3:17 pm #

        I come from the land of intelligence and rational thinking. Where do you get off?

        • NEILIO June 4, 2012 at 7:40 am #

          Ha! In your dreams.

  10. NEILIO May 13, 2012 at 9:55 pm #

    “Its always important to remember what has been predicted by the elders of science, and to review those predictions when the time is right. In four months, just 132 days from now at the end of summer on the Autumnal Equinox September 22nd 2012, the Arctic will be “nearly ice free” according to a prominent NASA scientist in a National Geographic article on December 12, 2007.

    So, given the proximity of this upcoming event, I’ve added a countdown for it in the right sidebar. We watch and wait until 7:49AM Pacific Time 14:49 UTC on September 22nd, 2012.

    In the meantime, here’s the current sea-ice situation on the WUWT Sea Ice Reference Page.” http://wattsupwiththat.com/reference-pages/sea-ice-page/

  11. Dean Robinson May 14, 2012 at 2:13 am #

    How many dinosaurs were there compared with methane producing animals today? I would expect it to be very similar!!

    • NEILIO May 14, 2012 at 5:04 pm #

      We don’t know that. Which is my point above, there are too many unknown factors to come to any conclusion yet this is reported as groundbreaking science, it’s BS! Or should I say DS! But you may be right, we may never know but what heck…… your guess is as good as theirs.

      • Rob N. Hood May 15, 2012 at 7:06 am #

        Yeah Dean, the only good “scientists” are the ones Neil approves of and has certified AOk.

        • NEILIO June 4, 2012 at 7:44 am #

          Wrong, the only good scientists are the ones that adhere to the scientific method. Studies like this one are wild speculation, at best. At worst, it is purposeful manipulation and fearmongering. Either way it has circumvented certain steps of the scientific method which makes it junk science.

  12. Rob N. Hood May 14, 2012 at 12:14 pm #

    There are international oil companies via various connecting countries, U.S. included, who dearly want that ice to melt, for good. At least for many years, so they can get at the Bering Sea oil, even though it is hard to get. It’s black gold. Yeehaw!

  13. Rob N. Hood May 15, 2012 at 10:29 am #

    An associate professor of biology at the University of Minnesota, PZ Myers, responded skeptically to the FOX sensationalistic headline:

    So I read the [source research] paper. The researchers didn’t say that at all. There is nothing about extinction in the paper; it would have been ridiculous and I was prepared to dismiss such a claim without even reading the paper (the Jurassic lasted 55 million years, the Cretaceous 80 million, with dinosaurs farting away throughout). But the paper makes no such claim, instead suggesting that the mass of herbivores during the Mesozoic would have made a substantial, but stable, contribution of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere that may have been partially responsible for the warmer, moister climate of the era and the greater primary production.

    A commenter on the Myers’ critique of the Murdoch “news” site article speculated on a motive for the FOX exaggeration:

    It’s basically another anti-global warming story. They think that if they compare green house gasses to farts, somehow that makes all of the current science silly. It’s the “how dangerous can green house gases be anyways if dinosaur farts were worse mentality?”

    Fox also noted that Neil calling Rob a big baby was oxymoronic.

    • NEILIO June 4, 2012 at 8:17 am #

      This article was not from FOX, it is from the UK Daily Mail. In the article there is a quote:

      “Cows and other livestock currently only emit about 100m tons of methane a year. According to Professor Ruxton and his co-researcher David Wilkinson, of Liverpool John Moores University, this is only a fifth of what was produced when Dinosaurs walked the Earth.
      ‘In fact, our calculations suggest these dinosaurs may have produced more methane than all the modern sources, natural and human, put together,’ said Mr Wilkinson to the Sunday Times.”

      So if todays methane levels from all sources, natural and Man made, are only 1/5 of what was being produced by the Dinos, and WE are causing global warming? What does that suggest? So the Dinos “may have been partially responsible for the warmer, moister climate of the era”, but WE are destroying the planet, and causing catastrophic global warming? I’m not a math guy, but it does not take a math guy to see that that math does not add up.

  14. Andrew May 19, 2012 at 3:54 am #

    More plausible than the endless carbon dioxide talk, anyway.

  15. Rob N. Hood June 10, 2012 at 7:17 pm #

    Uhh, Neil-io seems to forget that the Dinos became extinct in a realtively short period of time, from which climate change is a leading theory.

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