DINOSAURS were not wiped out by a meteorite or a planetary catastrophe but by a serious flatulence problem, according to a Chinese news report. The report, cited last week by BBC News Online, comes from the China Youth Daily. In 1991 Associated Press attributed the idea to geochemist Simon Brassell; this time it's an unnamed French scientist.
The problem was apparently the amount of methane expelled by the dinosaurs--enough to blast a hole in the ozone layer. This in turn damaged terrestrial vegetation and caused a food shortage which ended the dinosaurs' reign.
"The animals, weighing from 80 to 100 tonnes, would eat on average between 130 and 260 kilos of food every day. They would fart non-stop," the Chinese paper tells its surprised readers.
(from the New Scientist)
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