Friday, August 10, 2018

Perfume’s been around since dinosaur days

Perfumes have had the same appeal since the days of the dinosaurs, claim scientists. Modern scents are used to appeal to the opposite sex and the effect was the same 100 million years ago, when primitive flowers originally evolved the means to send out smells in order to pollinate.

The first flowering plants are said to have developed in the mid-cretaceous period (Image: GETTY)
The lure of perfume would have attracted not only insects but giant plant-eating dinosaurs, which in turn would have drawn in the meat eating monsters such as T-Rex during the mid-cretaceous period.

The vast creatures would then have carried pollen on their bodies as they moved about.

This period saw the first flowering plants develop, claims entomologist Professor George Poinar of Oregon State University for journal Historical Biology.

He and his son Greg, an expert on fragrances, studied the petals of prehistoric flowers which had been locked in amber, including an ancient acacia with a visiting bee engulfed on it.

The samples showed the flowers had developed the specialist tissues needed to produce scents that are still in use today.

The tissues secrete compounds that are released during flowering to attract creatures that help pollination.

Mr Poinar said: “Some of the dinosaurs could have detected the scents of these early flowers.

“Flowers were producing scents to make themselves more attractive to pollinators long before humans began using perfumes to make themselves more appealing to each other.”

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