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Thread: Fungi fossils are more than half a billion years older than before

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    tWebber shunyadragon's Avatar
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    Fungi fossils are more than half a billion years older than before

    Source: http://www.sci-news.com/paleontology/proterozoic-fungi-07215.html



    Paleontologists Find One-Billion-Year-Old Fossil Fungi in Canada

    An international team of paleontologists has discovered 1,000- to 900-million-year-old microfossils of a fungus in estuarine shale of the Grassy Bay Formation in Arctic Canada. These multicellular organic-walled microfossils are more than half a billion years older than previously reported occurrences of fungi.

    “Fungi are essential components of modern ecosystems and are among the first traces of life to colonize the continents,” said University of Liège researcher Corentin Loron and colleagues.

    “To date, the earliest fossil fungi are 410-million-year-old specimens from Scotland and spores of glomeromycotan fungi from Wisconsin that date to 450 million years ago, in the Ordovician period.”

    “The 1-0.9-billion-year-old (Proterozoic era) fossil fungi from the Grassy Bay Formation are older than these previously reported fossils by more than half a billion years.”

    The paleontologists discovered abundant microfossils of a fungus named Ourasphaira giraldae.

    These fossilized specimens have a wall made of chitin, a fibrous compound that forms fungal cell walls.

    “These organic-walled microfossils consist of multicellular, branching filaments with terminal spheres,” the scientists said.

    “Transmitted-light and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) examinations show smooth unornamented walls of filaments and spheres.”

    “SEM images also reveal the presence of locally well-preserved and intertwined (approximately 15–20-nm thick) microfibrils, which make up the walls.”

    “Ultrastructural analyses using transmission electron microscopy show that the flattened microfossils are hollow, with a bilayered wall that consists of an electron-dense thick inner layer and a thin electron-tenuous outer layer.”

    This combination of complex morphology, right-angle branching, multicellularity, bilayered wall ultrastructure, compositional recalcitrance and relatively large size permits the unambiguous placement of Ourasphaira giraldae among eukaryotes.”

    “Together they indicate the presence of a complex cytoskeleton, which is absent in prokaryotes.”

    Extant fungi are mostly terrestrial, although some marine forms are known.

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  2. #2
    Evolution is God's ID rogue06's Avatar
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    Not exactly a surprise

    Source: Fungus-like mycelial fossils in 2.4-billion-year-old vesicular basalt


    Abstract

    Fungi have recently been found to comprise a significant part of the deep biosphere in oceanic sediments and crustal rocks. Fossils occupying fractures and pores in Phanerozoic volcanics indicate that this habitat is at least 400 million years old, but its origin may be considerably older. A 2.4-billion-year-old basalt from the Palaeoproterozoic Ongeluk Formation in South Africa contains filamentous fossils in vesicles and fractures. The filaments form mycelium-like structures growing from a basal film attached to the internal rock surfaces. Filaments branch and anastomose, touch and entangle each other. They are indistinguishable from mycelial fossils found in similar deep-biosphere habitats in the Phanerozoic, where they are attributed to fungi on the basis of chemical and morphological similarities to living fungi. The Ongeluk fossils, however, are two to three times older than current age estimates of the fungal clade. Unless they represent an unknown branch of fungus-like organisms, the fossils imply that the fungal clade is considerably older than previously thought, and that fungal origin and early evolution may lie in the oceanic deep biosphere rather than on land. The Ongeluk discovery suggests that life has inhabited submarine volcanics for more than 2.4 billion years.


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    Now we have solid evidence showing that this entire Kingdom of organisms predates the so-called "Cambrian Explosion" by roughly 460 million years.

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    Troll Magnet Sparko's Avatar
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    [insert mossy joke]

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    tWebber tabibito's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparko View Post
    [insert mossy joke]
    By your command:
    mossy.jpg
    και εκζητησατε με και ευρησετε με οτι ζητησετε με εν ολη καρδία υμων

  5. Amen rogue06 amen'd this post.
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    Evolution is God's ID rogue06's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tabibito View Post
    By your command:
    mossy.jpg
    Saved.

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