This seemed apt. [via]
Earth was likely around 18ºF warmer on average during the Mesozoic Era, with high levels of greenhouse gases, high humidity, and no permanent ice sheets like Antarctica and Greenland. The high temperature may have been related to the greenhouse gases, and plant-eating dinosaurs may have created much of these gases in the form of methane.
Currently, all the cows on Earth create 75 Teragrams (over 165 billion pounds) of methane emissions annually, which is a lot of cow burp/fart related greenhouse gas. This may be why British researchers saw fit to publish an article in Current Biology estimating the amount of methane produced by giant, plant-eating dinosaurs (specifically sauropods).
Since these dinosaurs were probably not warm-blooded, the environment they created for their bacteria probably wasn’t as favorable as that provided by a cow. But even with a reduced amount of methane produced as a function of body weight, even a single animal could produce an estimated 2,675 liters of methane a day. Multiply that by the population estimates, and you get a staggering 520 Teragrams of methane a year. That’s roughly equivalent to the total methane emissions for our entire planet at the moment. [Ars Technica]
At least 1 Teragram of that is coming from my dad, I’m sure.
So, yeah, actual scientific research has been done to estimate how much sauropods farted. And I should admit the banner picture isn’t actually a sauropod. Then again, dinosaurs didn’t own any UZIs either . . . or did they?