Dinosaurs Did What?

OK. I can’t let this one pass. Perhaps you have already heard that some research scientists have speculated on a new theory concerning dinosaur extinction. No one knows for sure what really happened so every theory is speculative. Some hold to the Asteroid theory. Still others hold the Volcanic theory, the Ice Age theory, the Disease theory, and some Christians the Flood theory. However, some scientists believe it was climate change that took out the big guys. In a new twist on this last theory, they claim that gassy vegetarians like the Brontosaurus may have produced so much methane that they triggered the global warming which may have contributed to their own extinction. A study by a team of British scientists published in Current Biology argues that “dinosaur flatulence turned the Earth into one giant Dutch oven, contributing significantly to a warmer climate 150 million years ago,” says Slate. “When long-necked sauropod dinosaurs like the Brontosaurus digested vast amounts of plants and vegetation, they produced methane,” says Reuters, “a potent greenhouse gas that has as much as 25 times the climate-warming potential as carbon dioxide, and ultimately warmed the planet during the hot, wet Mesozoic era.” How did researchers discover this? “Using a mathematic model, the scientists compared the sauropod dinosaurs’ digestive systems to those of cows, who also require methane-producing microbes to metabolize plants. According to their calculations, a 140-foot, 90-ton Argentinosaurus, for example, would have consumed at least half a ton of food each day” (about as much as a teenage boy), yielding thousands of pounds of methane discharges. While this study may not be definitive, it does add a new dimension to the word “extinction.” It also underscores the global warming issue and how we might be contributing to it, hopefully not quite on the level of a sauropod. As Christians we should be concerned for the stewardship of God’s creation, and take responsibility for its care, preservation and protection; for God is glorified in His creation. Psalms 104:24. “How many are your works, O Lord! In wisdom have you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures. There is the sea, vast and spacious, teeming with creatures beyond number – living things both large and small.” Amen.

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