World’s Oldest Fossilized Mushroom Sprouted one hundred fifteen Million Years In the past

Picture: Sam Heads

Sam Heads and his workforce had simply acquired a donation of fossil bugs on the Prairie Analysis Institute, College of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. However once they began going by way of it, Heads realized that one of many fossils wasn’t a bug in any respect. “It seems to be like a mushroom,” he stated. He confirmed it to a colleague. “It appears like a mushroom,” the colleague stated. They introduced it to their mushroom skilled (a mycologist), Andrew Miller. “That’s a mushroom,” he stated.

The workforce analyzed its pattern, then did a literature assessment of all of the papers on fossilized mushrooms. It wasn’t only a mushroom they’d discovered. It was the oldest fossilized mushroom.

The group named their discover Gondwanagaricites magnificus, primarily which means that it was a powerful mushroom from the Gondwana supercontinent. It comes from Brazil’s Crato formation, a spot with a lot of particularly nicely-preserved fossil deposits, referred to as Lagerstätten. Based mostly on that info, the fossil might be between 113 and one hundred twenty million years previous.


Smooth tissue usually decomposes, so fossils like these are particularly helpful for locating new species that’d be misplaced to time in any other case. Different scientists had discovered the now-second oldest mushroom in Burmese amber.

As for the id or the way it’s associated to trendy mushrooms, that’s much less sure. G. magnificus may appear to be extra trendy mushrooms however mycologists typically use the form of their spores, pre-mushrooms, to find out what species they’re. This pattern didn’t have any spores, in response to the analysis revealed final week in PLoS One.

I’ve requested some mycologists to have a look to see if they might give me some extra solutions as to the mushroom’s id, and can replace the submit if I hear again. I did ship the paper to Dr. Khalid Hameed, a mycologist from Duke College, who instantly thought it appeared like an Agaricus mushroom, the identical genus that that features subject mushrooms and the widespread edible mushrooms (which incorporates portobello and cremini mushrooms).

With that info in hand, I requested Heads if he thought you might eat this ‘shroom. “My common strategy to those issues is for those who don’t know what it, is don’t eat it.

The research was revealed in PLoS One.


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