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Sauropod methane emissions



From: Ben Creisler
bcreisler@gmail.com

The Current Biology article is now posted online. Full text is
available at link:

David M. Wilkinson, Euan G. Nisbet and Graeme D. Ruxton (2012)
Could methane produced by sauropod dinosaurs have helped drive
Mesozoic climate warmth?
Current Biology 22(9): R292-R293
doi:10.1016/j.cub.2012.03.042
http://www.cell.com/current-biology/fulltext/S0960-9822(12)00329-6



Mesozoic sauropods, like many modern herbivores, are likely to have
hosted microbial methanogenic symbionts for the fermentative digestion
of their plant food. Today methane from livestock is a significant
component of the global methane budget. Sauropod methane emission
would probably also have been considerable. Here, we use a simple
quantitative approach to estimate the magnitude of such methane
production and show that the production of the greenhouse gas methane
by sauropods could have been an important factor in warm Mesozoic
climates.