It’s not just your friends and co-workers who like to sniff the air when you enter the room wearing a heavy scent. Going by a recently concluded research, the chemical compounds extracted from flowers that are used in modern-day perfumes and colognes were present some 65-100 million years ago as well when dinosaurs roamed the Earth.
Floral scents originated from primitive flowers as far back as 100 million years ago as pollinator attractants. Flowers from that period had to rely solely on scents to attract pollinators due to the absence of colourful petals.
According to Professor George Poinar of Oregon State University,
“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.”
Poinar added that such pleasant scents might have played a role in attracting dinosaurs to certain areas.
“I bet some of the dinosaurs could have detected the scents of these early flowers. In fact, floral essences from these early flowers could even have attracted these giant reptiles.”
As per the study, during the mid-cretaceous period, dinosaurs such as T-Rex would then have carried pollen on their bodies as they moved about, just like insects and bees do today.
The study was conducted by studying amber flowers from Myanmar as well as the now extinct milkweed flowers and 20-to-30 million-year-old acacia flower from the Dominican Republic, fossilised as tree resins. Though the scents of fossil flowers or their chemical compounds cannot be detected, one can study the tissues responsible for scents.