Dinosaurs may have farted themselves to extinction, according to a new study from British scientists.The researchers calculated that the prehistoric beasts pumped out more than 520 million tons (472 million tonnes) of methane a year -- enough to warm the planet and hasten their own eventual demise. Until now, an asteroid strike and volcanic activity around 65 million years ago had seemed the most likely cause of their extinction.
Giant plant-eating sauropods were fingered as the key culprits in the study, which appears in the latest edition of the journal Current Biology. An average argentinosaurus, weighing around 90 tons (82 tonnes) and measuring 140 feet (42m), chomped its way through half a ton (half a tonne) of ferns a day, producing clouds of methane as the food broke down in its gut.