There are two ways to introduce this new joint study from Oregon State University and the USDA Agricultural Research Service. The more accurate, and certainly more responsible, course would be to say that researchers have found a perfectly preserved amber fossil that contains the oldest grass specimen ever discovered, on top of which lies a 100 million-year-old form of the ergot fungus. The second—decidedly less responsible, but nearly irresistible—is that researchers discovered that dinosaurs may have been tripping on hallucinogens.
In 2001, German paleontologist Joerg Wunderlich discovered what he thought was a fossilized flower in the amber mines of Myanmar—an area where sauropods are known to have lived. He sent the sample to Oregon State paleo-entomologist Dr. George Poinar, who quickly realized that it was not, in fact, a flower, but instead a piece of grass—the oldest known grass in the world, at that. Even more remarkable, Poinar found that the grass was topped with this ergot-like fungus.
A version of the fungus responsible for LSD was present on the grass that the largest land animals in history were subsisting on. And, to think, dinosaurs were already terrifying.