Automobiles and power plants spew out tons of greenhouse gases daily that contribute to global warming, but a little known secret is that sheep and cattle do too. They produce huge amounts of methane, which is a major contributor to the greenhouse effect. We may have to find alternate power sources and give up our SUVs, but do we have to become vegetarians too? Not if scientists in Australia are successful in figuring out why sheep and cattle give off methane gas, but kangaroos, who eat the same kind of grass, do not.
Researchers believe the difference might be the kind of bacteria found in kangaroos? stomachs and they want to transplant this bacteria into the stomachs of cattle and sheep to see if it will reduce their methane output. Methane from sheep and cows makes up about 15% of Australia?s greenhouse gas production.
The stomach is basically a fermentation tank containing hydrogen and sheep and cattle bacteria turn that hydrogen into methane, while kangaroo bacteria does something else with it?but what, scientists don?t yet know. Whatever happens inside the kangaroo stomach, it doesn?t send methane into the atmosphere. So far, researchers have discovered 40 different kinds of bacteria in kangaroos? stomachs, but they aren?t yet sure what each one does.
Maybe they should just ask the kangaroos themselves. To learn how, read ?Is Your Pet Psychic?? by Richard Webster,click here.
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