Myth busting: Kangaroos fart just as much as cows

Kate and Prince William at Taronga Zoo in Sydney. Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Kangaroos produce levels of methane similar to other herbivores, including cows and horses.

It was thought that kangaroos had unique gut bacteria which meant they produced little or no methane, a greenhouse gas.

However, the latest research shows that kangaroo methane production is essentially the same as horses.

A similar study in 2012 showed wallabies also produced methane.

“The idea that kangaroos have unique gut microbes has been floating around for some time and a great deal of research has gone into discovering these apparently unique microbes,” says Adam Munn from the University of Wollongong.

Munn and his long-time collaborator Marcus Clauss from the University of Zurich, Switzerland, decided to measure everything that went into and came out of kangaroos.

“Kangaroos are not mysteriously low methane-producing creatures, but herbivores with an active methane producing microbe community,” says Claus.

The research is published in the journal The Company of Biologists.

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