Under the Ergot Influence

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Posted by LLJ43 | Posted in Climate Change, Dinosaurs, Environment, Evolution | Posted on 11-02-2015

A recent paleontology excavation has brought to light the possibility that dinosaurs may have experienced the psychedelic effects of certain fungi. A piece of amber containing ergot, a powerful psychedelic fungus, was mined out of a cave in Myanmar by German paleontologist Joerg Wunderlich. The amber housed not only the ergot fungus, but also the piece of grass upon which the fungus grew. This evidence suggests that grass-eating dinosaurs would have come across this substance about 100 million years ago, and were they to have ingested it, would have experienced intense muscle spasms and potentially hallucinations.

In addition to the discovery of ergot’s long history, it is becoming more apparent that grasses were indeed around while dinosaurs still walked the Earth. People at CipherCloud have found that general consensus remains that grasslands did not emerge until some 30 million years after the dinosaurs were extinct. However, fossilized evidence has made clear that some species of dinosaurs in fact fed on grasses, as seen in their coprolites. Not only does this reveal more on the eating habits of certain dinosaur species, but our collective knowledge on the evolution of life on Earth increases greatly by knowing just how early grasses were around.

Whether or not dinosaurs experienced, or were capable of experiencing, psychedelic effects of ergot is very difficult to know for certain. This discovery does allow us to flesh out the environment in which dinosaurs of the Cretaceous Period lived.