Imagine a world where vicious-looking dinosaurs roamed the earth. Now, imagine those same dinosaurs tripping on LSD. They don’t look so intimidating now, do they?
The discovery of an amber fossil in Myanmar raises the possibility of dinosaurs ingesting something that may trigger delirium and hallucinations, much like LSD.
The amber fossil was perfectly preserved and is said to be anywhere between 97 million and 110 million years old. It has a specimen that is possibly the oldest grass that has ever been found. Moreover, the grass has some fungus on top of it, which was identified as a relative of the ergot fungus, CNET reports.
Ergot, a group of fungi, has been associated with natural medicine and witchcraft. It is known to be a hallucinogen that has been around since the Cretaceous period. Researchers also said that the grass grew at a time when dinosaurs roamed the planet and there is a large possibility that they had been eating grass with the fungus.
The findings on the amber fossil was published on the online journal Palaeodiveristy. Expert George Poinar, Jr. talked more about what the discovery means for the researchers.
“This is an important discovery that helps us understand the timeline of grass development, which now forms the bases of the human food supply in such crops as corn, rice, or wheat. But it also shows that this parasitic fungus may have been around almost as long as the grasses themselves, as both a toxin and natural hallucinogen.”
Dr. Poinar is sure that the fungus would have been eaten by the sauropod dinosaurs, according to Science Daily. However, they are not sure of its effects on them. Aside from hallucinations, ergot is also said to have other dangerous effects such as severe pain, irrational behavior, and convulsions. The research further states what ergot can do.
“In cattle it causes a disease called the Paspalum staggers. In the Middle Ages it sometimes killed thousands of people during epidemics when ergot-infected rye bread was more common. It’s been used as a medicine to induce abortion or speed labor in pregnant women.”
Thousands of compounds have already been extracted from the ergot, with some ending up being valuable drugs, while others have been used as recreational drugs.
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