It may not be the first thing you want to consider this morning. Or, for that matter, not as high as fourth or fifth on your list. But a new study claims that dinosaur farts may have helped heat the Earth.

A team of British researchers [who seem to have had a lot of time on their hands] believe that the class of dinosaurs known as sauropods, large, plant-eating creatures, may have been responsible for creating so much methane gas by, well, burping and passing gas, that the planet's temperature was 50 degrees warmer than had they not existed!

Of course, there are several "conditions" in the hypothesis. For instance, the proposal is based on the idea that sauropods produced methane gas, as herbivores like cows do today. While no one knows if they did or not, the researchers say it would make sense. The amount of gaseous emissions the sauropods would make is also at best a guess, but the scientists say they used "middle-of-the-road" amounts of gas to make their estimates.

It's an interesting theory, but one that will probably never be confirmed or denied. Still, it's something to think about. Just not first on your thought-list for the day.

[cbsnews.com]