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Fossilized grass hints that dinosaurs ate hallucinogenic fungus similar to LSD

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Dinosaurs ate hallucinogenic fungus that grew on prehistoric grass and was then preserved for about 100 million years in an amber fossil.

The fossil, which was discovered in Myanmar, provides evidence of the earliest grass specimen ever found, reported Eureka Alert.

The prehistoric grass played host to a fungus similar to ergot, a fungus blamed for disease epidemics and the Salem witch trials that was used for centuries as an labor-inducing or abortifacient drug and later synthesized as LSD.

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“It seems like ergot has been involved with animals and humans almost forever, and now we know that this fungus literally dates back to the earliest evolution of grasses,” said George Poinar, Jr., an Oregon State faculty member and expert on studying specimens found in amber.

He said the discovery helps scientists understand the timeline in grass development and how it relates to human food crops such as corn, rice, and wheat.

Researchers said dinosaurs undoubtedly ate the now-extinct ergot-like fungus, Palaeoclaviceps parasiticus — which would have been toxic and naturally hallucinogenic.

“There’s no doubt in my mind that it would have been eaten by sauropod dinosaurs, although we can’t know what exact effect it had on them,” Poinar said.

The fossil likely dates to the early-to-mid Cretaceous period, when land masses were dominated by dinosaurs and conifers but flowering plants, grasses, and small mammals were beginning to evolve.

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Ergot may have acted as a natural defense mechanism for grasses, because it’s bitter and can cause illness in humans and livestock.


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2020 Election

Here is why these Nevadans are betting on Sanders

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LAS VEGAS — Any doubts that Nevadans wouldn't show up for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) were quickly squashed by the amount of people lined up to get into his Friday night rally in Las Vegas on the eve of the Nevada caucus: an estimated 2,020, according to his campaign. One would have been forgiven for assuming the crowd spilling out the main entrance and down the street had lined up to get into one of the city's hottest shows, not a "Get Out the Vote" event. Despite stereotypes that Sanders only draws support from the young (and mostly white), the crowd was visibly diverse in age, ethnicity and race. And anyone who didn't arrive already wearing the requisite Bernie gear had plenty of opportunities to buy some as they waited to enter the venue.

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Roger Stone’s dream of booting judge for sentencing comments brutally crushed by ex-US Attorney: ‘He’s met his match’

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Appearing on MSNBC on Saturday afternoon, former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance crushed any hopes former Donald Trump associate Roger Stone might have that his prison sentence will be voided due to comments made by the presiding judge in his federal trial.

Speaking with host Alex Witt, Vance left no doubt Stone's latest legal gambit will collapse just like his previous attempts to squirm out of his trial did.

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Justice Dept officials worry Bill Barr will fall quietly in line behind Trump after Stone interference: report

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According to a report from CNN, longtime Justice Department officials are concerned that Attorney General Bill Barr will do all he can to stay out of Donald Trump's sight and not interfere now that he was caught up in a squabble with the president over the sentencing of Trump associate Roger Stone.

CNN notes that Barr had previously watched Secretary of State Mike Pompeo be swept up in the president's Ukraine scandal -- damaging the State Department official's reputation -- and hoped to keep a low profile in the president's public disputes.

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