Kangaroo farts and greenhouse gas [2015/12/10 10:42]

Kangaroos release methane, a greenhouse gas, in their farts.

More methane is escaping the behinds of kangaroos than earlier research had suggested, according to a new study published in the Journal of Experimental Biology.

The study was led by Adam Munn, a wildlife biologist at the University of Wollongong in Australia. Munn and his colleagues show that a kangaroo can produce nearly 1,000 liters of methane per year.

“What we found is that kangaroo’s methane is low, but it’s not as low as some studies have suggested,” Munn said.

Methane, like carbon dioxide, contributes to global warming. Animals can produce methane. It comes out in farts and burps.

Munn claimed the amount of methane kangaroos emit may be linked to how quickly food moves through their guts.

When food moves through the gut more slowly, the bacteria inside kangaroos is given more time to go from a growth phase to a maintenance phase, Munn said.

Methane gets released during the maintenance phase, he added.

Scientists believe that knowing how methane is produced in kangaroos might help farmers curb the amount of gas emitted by livestock, such as cattle.
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