Did the dinosaurs fart themselves into extinction? Despite current received wisdom saying that they were wiped out by a huge meteor strike, a top scientist has broken ranks with palaeontological orthodoxy to put forward a radical new theory. “I took my inspiration from current theories which have suggested that global warming isn’t, as we all thought, down to all the carbon our industries pump into the atmosphere, but is actually the result of all the methane being pumped out of the arses of the herds of cattle we breed for meat and dairy products,” says Dr Jim Rump, writing in tabloid The Weekly World Shopper. “Which set me to thinking, is this really a problem unique to our modern era? Can you imagine just how bad dinosaur farting was? Think of those herds of sauropods wandering around in the Jurassic, letting rip huge farts – not only would the stench have been horrendous, (possibly the reason why more of them didn’t fall prey to predators like Allosaurs), but the quantities of methane being pumped into the atmosphere would have been colossal.” Scientific reaction to the article has, not unexpectedly, been hostile, with critics pointing out that Rump has no academic record whatsoever in palaeontology, his credentials instead being in waste disposal.

“There is no support for his crackpot theories in the fossil record,” declared Professor John Keister, Chair of Palaeontology at East Chatham Polytechnic. “By contrast, there’s plenty of evidence of a meteor strike at the end of the Cretaceous period which could have resulted in massive environmental and climatic change, which, in turn, could have wiped out much of life on earth, including the dinosaurs.” In response, Rump has pointed out that, despite evidence of a meteor strike, its possible impact on the dinosaurs is still just a theory. “In truth, it still isn’t conclusive,” he says. “Indeed, there is evidence in the fossil record that the dinosaurs were in decline long before the meteor strike.” He further theorised that their colossal farting might have influenced the evolution of some species of dinosaur. “Perhaps that’s why the sauropods – which undoubtedly would have been the biggest farters, due to their size and vegetarian diets – evolved to have those long necks: to lift their heads high enough that they weren’t inhaling their own noxious fumes,” he muses. “Mind you, it is notable that a lot of the bigger sauropods did die out well before the end of the Mesozoic era – by the Cretaceous they had been supeceded by duckbills and horned dinosaurs as the dominant herbivores. Eventually, their farting must have became too much and overwhelmed them, in spite of their long necks – they just gassed themselves out of existence, choking on their own farts.”

Rump’s theories have also drawn the ire of right-wing politicians, who have accused him of crudely promoting a vegan agenda. “It’s quite outrageous – he’s clearly trying to peddle the ludicrous notion that having large numbers of grazing animals roaming the earth will lead to the mass extinction of the planet’s dominant species,” raged Republican US Senator Ash Backside on Fox News. “The message for contemporary society is obvious: if we don’t divest ourselves of our own herds of cattle, they’ll choke us all to death with their farts. So we’d all better give up our steaks and eat plants instead!” Backside has dismissed the theory that animal-produced methane is contributing to global warming as ‘fake science’. “It just doesn’t make any sense. I mean, damn it, even before we started enclosing the land and intensively farming both crops and livestock, there were huge herds of bovine creatures wandering around wild. All of them farting profusely,” he opines. “Just think of those vast herds of buffalo that roamed North America before the white man wiped them out. Think of all the crap they left behind and the amount of methane they must have produced. Yet nobody has ever claimed that climate change was a problem back then!”

Warming to his theme, the Senator extended his musings to another continent. “Then there was Africa which, back in the day, before we hunted them to buggery, was chock full of huge creatures breaking wind profusely,” he postulated. “Just think of how much all those elephants, hippos and rhinos were farting. Not to mention the wildebeest. Surely that level of global animal methane production would have affected the climate?” Rump has responded to these criticisms by questioning whether the extinction of the North American buffalo herds and the near extinction of many wild species in Africa are the result of hunting, or culling. “Could it be that the supposed over-hunting by humans is being used as a smokescreen by the authorities to conceal a systematic culling of the most dangerous, methane-wise, species?” he asks. “Isn’t it notable that the species which have suffered the most have been the largest and therefore the fartiest? Could it be that the true reason for these catastrophic declines in the populations of these species is simply the result of self-preservation on the part of humanity.”

According to the scientist, the world’s governments have known of the threat posed by animal produced methane for centuries, but have kept it secret to prevent mass public panic and possible economic chaos. “Obviously, they didn’t want people to think that farm livestock might be trying to kill them,” he says. “More importantly, they didn’t want to see the entire farming industry go bankrupt as a result of all their animals being culled. So, instead, the globe’s authorities decided to slaughter as many large methane=producing wild animals as possible, in the hope that this would stem any potentially dangerous atmospheric methane build ups.” Senator Backside remains unconvinced, believing that he has found a fatal flaw in the whole theory. “On the one hand these people are saying that we need to shoot all our livestock because they create too much dangerous methane, in order to scare us all into going vegan,” he ponders. “But surely such a diet will simply result in the entire human population producing more methane? Wouldn’t we just fart ourselves into oblivion?” Rump maintains his position that the dinosaurs ultimately made their own atmosphere so noxious that it killed them stone dead. “It’s clear that dinosaur farting must have triggered global warming, which eventually destroyed their environment.,” he says. “The meteor just delivered the coup de grace, wiping the last of them out and allowing the climate to slowly return to normal – until the next generation of giant farters, like mammoths, started to appear. Then the cycle started all over again!”