The Flatulence Battle: Kangaroos vs. Cattle and Sheep


Image courtesy of travellingtamas

Sure, it may sound silly (some might even say crass), but what we're talking about here is a serious push to slash greenhouse gas emissions - by taking advantage of the potency of kangaroo farts. Unlike cattle and sheep, whose flatulence is known to produce large amounts of methane, kangaroos are equipped with specialized stomachs containing bacteria that negate the noxious gas.

As we've reported on before, the amount of greenhouse gas emissions produced by cattle and sheep is no laughing matter: according to Athol Klieve, a scientist with Queensland's state government, they account for 14% of emissions from all Australian sources. It's even worse in New Zealand, whose economy depends much more on agriculture: estimates put the amount of emissions from cattle and sheep-derived methane at close to 50%.Transferring these bacteria into the stomachs of cattle and sheep won't be an easy process: Scientists estimate it will take at least 3 years until they are able to isolate them, after which they will first have to consider the transfer process. Other scientists have opted for an easier, albeit controversial, alternate solution: encourage Australians to eat more 'roos.

"It's low in fat, it's got high protein levels it's very clean in the sense that basically it's the ultimate free range animal," said Peter Ampt, a professor at the University of New South Wales (with a smile on his face and a thumbs-up sign, we imagine). The big question now of, course, is whether Australians will be able to bring themselves around to the idea of eating more of their national icon.

Via ::Agence France Presse: Eco-friendly kangaroo farts could help global warming: scientists (news website), ::DeSmogBlog: Cool Kangaroos Have Methane Message for Cows (blog)

See also: ::Climate Change Stinks: Fart Neutral Aims to Fight Back, ::Roo Poo is "State of the Ark" from Creative Papers

Tags: Australia | Bacteria | Carbon Dioxide | Cattle | New Zealand

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