One billion year old fungi is found to be earths oldest fungus
26, May 2019
Prelims level : Mains level :
- Microfossils of a globular spore connected to a T-shaped filament excavated in an Arctic region of northwestern Canada represent the oldest-known fungus.
- This discovery sheds light on the origins of an important branch in earth’s tree of life.
- Scientists said that the multicellular fungus that they named Ourasphaira Giralda, a forerunner to an immensely diverse group that today includes the likes of mushrooms, yeasts, and molds, lived in an estuary environment about 900 million to 1 billion years ago.
- Until now, the oldest-known fungus fossil was one about 410 million years old from Scotland.
- The microscopic fossils, contained in shale rock from the Northwest Territories of Canada, date back to the Proterozoic era, before the advent of complex life forms. The study was published in Nature.