The message of a new research could be that we should keep the planet safe by feeding a kangaroo, as the famous marsupials emit dangerous methane that is aggravating global warming.
- For the past 30-40 years, it was believed that kangaroos do not emit methane gas
- Researchers tested those studies by placing 10 kangaroos on two diets
- They found that one kangaroo can release 45.5 pounds of methane gas per year
- Kangaroos who ate more released less gas
Researchers from the University of Wollongon have debunked a long-standing myth about the special powers of kangaroos Since the 1970s, researchers suggested that the animals release little to no methane gas in our atmosphere. Essentially, their farts were deem more innocent than those of other animals, such as cows, pigs, or horses.
This unique ability was attributed to a special bacteria in their gut. According to co-author of the study Adam Munn, the idea has been floating around for decades that kangaroos have a special low-methane-emitting bacteria. In fact, certain experimentations have been conducted in cows, by attempting to insert the ‘harmless’ compound into the them.
The experimentation was due to the fact that agriculture, including raising, culling, and maintaining animals is one of the lead causes of the high methane amounts in our atmosphere. This aggravates climate change and global warming. To put it in perspective, livestock (including cows and pigs) emit 13 million tons of methane each year. Oil and gas industries, on the other hand, emit around 7 million tons.
It made perfect sense to find a solution for the high emission of methane gasses from cows. There are around 1.4 billion of them, and each one can release around 200 liters of methane per year. However, the solution is definitely not in the gut of kangaroos.
The team of researchers placed 10 of the marsupials into separate rooms. The animals were fed alfalfa in two ways. Some were placed on a restricted diet, while the others could eat as much as they pleased. The kangaroos were in specialized rooms that could determine the amount of methane they released through their farts and feces.
And, apparently, one kangaroo can produce as much as 45.5 pounds of methane gas per year. That is less than a cow, but almost equal to a horse. However, their findings also showed that those that were better feed produced much less. The less it eats, the more methane a kangaroo can release.
The changes that have been proposed by the researchers implied a need for modifications in both their dietary and breeding process. The more they eat, the less damaging their farts will become to our planet’s atmosphere.
Regardless of this study, the Kangaroo Industries Association of Australia still deems kangaroos as eco-friendly.
Image source: abc.net.au