Scientists: Emperor penguin stools turn into laughing gas when they land

According tomedia reports, the emperor penguin, a bird living in Antarctica, eats a lot of seafood and produces a lot of faeces. This is part of the cycle of life and presents some challenges for scientists to study birds. In an article published this week in the journal Science of Total Environment, Professor Bo Elberling of the University of Copenhagen looked at the relationship between penguin droppings and soil greenhouse gas flux.

Scientists: Emperor penguin stools turn into laughing gas when they land

“Penguin faeces produce large amounts of nitrous oxide around their territory,” Elberling said in a press release from the University of Copenhagen. The maximum emissions are about 100 times higher than the recently fertilized Danish farmland. “

Nitrous oxide is commonly known as laughing gas.

Scientists: Emperor penguin stools turn into laughing gas when they land

The team analyzed soil and fecal samples collected in Antarctica. As a result, they found that the food content of emperor penguins was very high. When their faeces reach the ground, soil bacteria convert the nitrogen into laughing gas.

“If you smell bird droppings for a few hours, you’re completely crazy,” Elbering said. You will start to feel uncomfortable and have a headache. “

This gas-filled situation is likely to eventually worsen as penguin populations expand into new areas of Antarctica. But don’t blame penguins for climate problems, Elberling says, in this case, nitrous oxide emissions are not enough to affect the planet’s overall energy budget. “