Kangaroo farts may not be so eco-friendly after all | Science News

Real Science. Real News.

Science News is a nonprofit.

Support us by subscribing now.


Kangaroo farts may not be so eco-friendly after all

Amount of methane emitted is linked to how fast food moves through the grazers’ guts, researchers suspect

6:00pm, November 4, 2015

HOT AIR  Kangaroos like these western grays (Macropus fuliginosus) release the greenhouse gas methane, but microbes in the animal’s gut keep emissions relatively low.

Kangaroos do blow farts spiked with methane.

More methane is escaping the behinds of kangaroos than previously thought, an international group of researchers reports online November 4 in the Journal of Experimental Biology. It’s still less than many other grazing animals, though, the researchers say. They think that microbe populations haven’t reached a stage of their life cycle during which they produce a lot of methane, helping to keep the animal’s gassy emissions down.

Knowledge about how methane — a greenhouse gas contributing to global warming — is produced in kangaroos could have implications for curbing the significant amount of methane emitted each year by farm animals like cattle.

Kangaroo toots have been considered easy on the environment because they’ve been thought to contain little to no methane. But Adam Munn, a wildlife biologist at the University

This article is only available to Science News subscribers. Already a subscriber? Log in now.
Or subscribe today for full access.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More from Science News

From the Nature Index Paid Content