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Last year researchers published a paper suggesting that sauropod dinosaurs would have made a contribution to climate change in the Mesozoic by producing as much as 520 million tons of methane gas. However, little research has been done into the fossil sites where accumulations of coprolites are associated with sauropods proving that sauropods produced enough methane gas to warm the earth. Are there any fossil sites around the world where sauropod remains have been found in association with multiple coprolites? If so, then we might hypothesize that the biggest flatulence by sauropod dinosaurs may have been due to the fact that the sauropods that were physically exhausted after long migrations across barren landscapes may have consumed too much plant material.

Note: If a Chinese gas company found a turiasaur skeleton in Xinjiang that is associated with coprolite pyramids, then that sauropod would be named Gasotitan (just as Gasosaurus was named because it was found by a Chinese gas company).

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Hate to be walking behind a herd of those guys and strike a match----LOL----Tom

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...we might hypothesize that the biggest flatulence by sauropod dinosaurs may have been due to the fact that the sauropods that were physically exhausted after long migrations across barren landscapes may have consumed too much plant material...

Pretty far out on the limb here, me thinks. It is not prudent to assume (at risk of perpetuating a circle-in-the-proof) physiologic consequences to activity (for which there is no evidence) by creatures whose physiology is unknown (we don't even know whether sauropods were fore-gut or hind-gut processors).

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Sounds(?) like a lot of hot air to me.

Apart from the other crude assumptions made by Wilkinson et al, the modelling for 520 million metric tons of methane was based on an assumed population density of 10 Apatosaurus-sized sauropods per square kiliometer and that half of the Earth's land-mass was inhabited by dinosaurs.

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Everybody knows this is why dinosaurs went extinct.

When Wilkinson et. al. published their paper, some media made the exaggeration that dino flatulence led to the extinction of dinos, but Wilkinson et. al. hit back at those media outlets by adding that dino farts caused the dinosaurs to go extinct. A discussion can be found at.....

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/05/09/dinosaurs-had-a-lot-of-flatulence-but-did-not-fart-themselves-to-extinction.html

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When Wilkinson et. al. published their paper, some media made the exaggeration that dino flatulence led to the extinction of dinos, but Wilkinson et. al. hit back at those media outlets by adding that dino farts caused the dinosaurs to go extinct. A discussion can be found at.....

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/05/09/dinosaurs-had-a-lot-of-flatulence-but-did-not-fart-themselves-to-extinction.html

They were indeed treated unfairly by the media.... but they should perhaps have seen it coming! The paper makes no reference to extinction. There's rational comment on the Smithsonian blog here:

http://blogs.smithsonianmag.com/dinosaur/2012/05/media-blows-hot-air-about-dinosaur-flatulence/

Edited by painshill
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