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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