Kangaroo Farts Won’t Save Us

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Red kangaroo "Hagen" jumps through his e
Photo: BRITTA PEDERSEN/2012 AFP

As you probably didn’t know, scientists have long thought that kangaroos might be able to play a role in the fight against climate change. Why? Their farts contain low levels of the greenhouse gas methane, which contributes to global warming. Because that’s not the case with cows, sheep, goats, and other animals favored by the agriculture industry, The Guardian explains, “Researchers intent on breeding less windy flocks and herds hypothesised kangaroos might have a unique mix of micro-organisms in their stomachs that produce less of the gas. The hope was by transplanting these micro-organisms, cattle and sheep might produce less methane.”

Unfortunately, a recent experiment yielded disappointing results. After placing kangaroos in “sealed chambers” in order to analyze the resulting flatulence, researchers found that “the methane is low because of the way food moves through the kangaroo stomach, and not because of a unique gut fauna.” So kangaroo farts will not save the world, which makes sense because that would be too funny.

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