Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Qui est coupe le fromage?

Microbe World has the poop on barking spiders, air biscuits, and "Aeolian crepitation":
The Microbiology of Belches and Farts

Alright, let’s face it: animals—and people—pass gas, either by belching or farting. But some are more gassy than others. Cows, for example, give out so much methane gas that some suspect them as one cause of global warming. Ever wonder why this might be?

Well, this science column offers some insights...

Most animals, birds, fish and insects pass gas. The average person passes gas about 10 to 15 times a day (some just do it more quietly than others).

One side note: methane is an odorless gas. The odors that sometimes result when people or animals belch or fart are caused by other compounds made during the digestion process. So don't blame the methane.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation reports in its "News in Science"

Flatulent whales caught in the act
Discovery News

Thursday, 28 August 2003

Scientists have photographed a giant gas bubble emanating from a whale, suggesting that flatulence is just as common for ocean mammals as it is for humans and many other terrestrial animals.

The picture, released last week by scientists from the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD) in Tasmania, was taken by the captain of a U.S. research ship the Nathaniel B. Palmer, while on expedition between Marguerite Bay and Palmer Station, Antarctica.

"The picture is of an Antarctic minke whale taken from the bow of a ship," said AAD principal research scientist Dr Nick Gales. "The white bits in the photo are pieces of ice-floe, the stream of pinky colour behind the whale is a faecal plume - a.k.a. "poo" - the large circle in the water is indeed the physical eruption of the whale's flatulence."

Read the rest here.

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