Millions of years ago before hallucinogenic drugs were introduced, prehistoric dinosaurs feasted on ancient fungus that actually has psychedelic effects.
The evidence on how these prehistoric creatures got high, came from a 100-million-year-old amber fossil of an ancient grass, which happens to be the oldest grass specimen discovered.
The amber was unearthed in a mine in Myanmar, collected by the German paleontologist named, Joerg Wunderlich. The grass was covered by a fungus similar to an ergot, which is known to have mind-altering and poisonous effects on the animals that eat them.
The fungus in the now extinct grass specimen was named Palaeoclaviceps parasiticus and the discovery of the fossil shows that this fungus, the grass and the dinosaurs that feasted on the grass had once coexisted and not after the giant reptiles have disappeared. Not only that, there are also piecses of amber discovered to be present in the dinosaur’s dung
The amber relic is tiny — only about a half-inch (12 millimeters) long, and just about 0.2 inches (5 mm) wide and deep. The grass spikelet and ergot fungus resemble an ear of corn, with the leaves of grass wrapped around the “ear” of the dark, flower – like fungus.
Researchers may also have to rethink the origins of ergot because of the new find. The amber fossils put the fungus firmly in the Old World, and the researchers suggested both grasses and their parasite were around since the older Jurassic Period, which lasted from about 199.6 million to 145.5 million years ago.
Grasses probably go back to the Early Cretaceous Period and possibly even the Jurassic Period,” said George Poinar, Jr., a zoology professor at Oregon State University.