Researchers in Myanmar have recently found a perfectly preserved Amber fossil over 100 million years old. It is evidence of the earliest grass specimen ever found and was topped with a very interesting substance similar to a fungus named Ergot.

Ergot is the primary ingredient in LSD, which means dinosaurs could have potentially been using it to trip millions of years ago. While there’s no way to know whether dinos ate it, or what they experienced, we’re going to go with the uneducated guess that it’s like that trip in Fear And Loathing in Las Vegas, except that instead of Hunter S. Thompson hallucinating dinosaurs in a Vegas casino, maybe T-Rexes hallucinated humans running around in their jungle. Maybe all of human existence is actually just a T-Rex’s trip. And what happens when the trip wears off? Do we all just disappear?!

Don’t correct us, scientists! It’s possible.

Ergot has played a huge part in history. In the middle ages, ergot was commonly found in contaminated rye. In large doses it can cause some pretty serious side effects and ergot poisoning was extremely common, earning the name ‘hell fire’, due to the burning sensation it can cause.

Ergot has been used in a number of ways over the years, many of which may have been before the start of recorded history. As it stands, the known uses of Ergot include:

  • Migraine treatment
  • Reduce bleeding
  • Production of LSD

Although the fungus found by the researchers wasn’t identical to ergot as we know it today, it was very similar, probably a prehistoric form of the fungus. It would have existed some 97-100 million years ago, in the early-to-mid Cretaceous period, when the earth was inhabited by dinosaurs, and small mammals were starting to evolve.

Much later in evolution, grasses and plants would have a huge impact on the evolution of humans and mammals and this discovery is just another way to track that evolution.

This discovery helps researchers piece together the evolution of both animal and plant life. It shows that Ergot in some form has evolved alongside humans and many of the plants and animals we know today, and that it may have played a part in human evolution, not just the evolution of album covers in the 60’s.

 

Sources

Natalie