Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 02-05-2019, 06:33 PM
Kimstu is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 21,662

Could dinosaurs have eaten chilies?


I get it that most of the animals generally called dinosaurs became extinct around 66 million years ago, and the Capsicum genus evolved only about 17 million years ago. So they didn't coexist AFAIK.

But since birds, the modern descendants of dinosaurs, aren't bothered by capsaicinoids in chili peppers, does that mean that dinosaurs could have eaten the peppers too?
  #2  
Old 02-05-2019, 07:31 PM
Chronos's Avatar
Chronos is offline
Charter Member
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: The Land of Cleves
Posts: 81,825
So far as I know, it's mammals specifically that are susceptible to capsaicin, not non-birds.
  #3  
Old 02-07-2019, 01:58 PM
Arkcon is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 1,974
From a Nova special many years ago, I was given to understand that the dinosaurs lived long before the modern angiosperms (plats what make seeds) proliferated. Dinosaurs instead ate tree ferns and gymnosperms (plants what make naked seeds, represented best by conifers now.) Angiosperms make a great deal more protective chemicals, alkaloids and others than dinosaur digestion is prepared to handle.
  #4  
Old 02-07-2019, 06:07 PM
Colibri's Avatar
Colibri is online now
SD Curator of Critters
Moderator
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Panama
Posts: 41,311
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arkcon View Post
From a Nova special many years ago, I was given to understand that the dinosaurs lived long before the modern angiosperms (plats what make seeds) proliferated. Dinosaurs instead ate tree ferns and gymnosperms (plants what make naked seeds, represented best by conifers now.) Angiosperms make a great deal more protective chemicals, alkaloids and others than dinosaur digestion is prepared to handle.
Angiosperms are flowering plants, not plants that make seeds. (Gymnosperms are seed plants too.) They proliferated in the early Cretaceous, and by the late Cretaceous had become the dominant plant group, largely replacing the gymnosperms. So that while Jurassic dinosaurs ate mostly gymnosperms and ferns, ones in the Late Cretaceous had plenty of angiosperms to eat.

At least one scientist hypothesized that the development of protective chemicals by angiosperms might have led to the decline of the dinosaurs, but I don't think this proposal ever gained much traction.

Since capsaicin receptors are specific to mammals, I don't see any reason why dinosaurs would have had them. They almost certainly could have eaten chillies. You couldn't use pepper spray to deter a T. rex.
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:06 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright 2018 STM Reader, LLC.

 
Copyright © 2017