30 Jun '11, 6pm

How wallaby farts could save the atmosphere:

Scientists have long known that cows are big contributors to global warming. Livestock produce more than a quarter of the world's global methane emissions every year, and 20 percent of methane emissions in the U.S. It's a side effect of ruminant digestion, and aside from strapping your entire herd into carbon-filter diapers, there's no quick fix -- to cut emissions, you have to carefully manage cattle nutrition so they don't offgas as much. Or so we thought. That was before we discovered wallaby farts . See, the Tammar wallaby has a digestive system similar to ruminants (i.e. animals that chew their cud). Like cows, wallabies have compartmentalized stomachs, including a sort of gastric antechamber where their tough plant diet gets pre-digested. But Tammar wallaby farts produce surprisingly little methane -- 80 percent less per unit of digestible energy, when compared to li...

Full article: http://www.grist.org/list/2011-06-30-how-wallaby-farts-co...

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