Beijing - Contrary to popular belief, dinosaurs were not wiped out by a meteorite or a planetary catastrophe, but by the power and potency of their own wind, a Chinese report said on Friday.

According to the China Youth Daily, which quotes an unidentified French scientist, dinosaur wind contained a high proportion of methane gas, lethal enough to penetrate the ozone layer.

"The animals, weighing from 80 to 100 tons, would eat on average between 130 and 260 kgs of food every day. They would fart non-stop", said the traditionally austere paper.

During the dinosaurs' 100 million year existance, "the atmosphere of earth became charged with methane, which finally damaged the ozone layer and brought about great changes in the vegetation," it said.

The changes caused a food shortage which eventually wiped them out.

The ozone layer protects the atmosphere from the sun's ultra-violet rays. - Sapa-AFP