Intact 99 Million-Year-Old Mushrooms Found in Myanmar

Intact 99 Million-Year-Old Mushrooms Found  in Myanmar
Intact mushroom and mycophagous rove beetle in Burmese amber leak early evolution of mushrooms |

Astonishingly well-preserved mushrooms that were trapped in amber some 99 million years ago have been discovered in a museum collection in China.

The researchers also found similarly pristine beetles that are 125 million years old, again encased in amber, which is clear tree resin that sets hard then fossilises over time.

Researchers are amazed at how similar the ancient specimens are to modern mushrooms Cai et al
Researchers are amazed at how similar the ancient specimens are to modern mushrooms Cai et al

Though mushrooms are typically found in the wild, researchers in China have discovered what they describe as the earliest complete mushrooms ever found inside a museum. 

The oldest amber mushroom ever found is only a million years older than the newly described examples, which were found among 111,000 pieces of amber from Burma, in the Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology in China.

The researchers appeared taken aback by how well the latest discoveries were preserved and also how similar to modern mushrooms they were.

Keterangan Gambar (© Pemilik Gambar)
Rove beetles, dating as far back as 125 million years, were found preserved in amber (Cai et al)

Mushrooms don't typically last long and have very limited fossil records, the study said. However, these newly discovered specimens were found with their caps and stalks completely intact, as well as with distinct gills underneath the caps. 

“Most [mushroom] fruiting bodies are ephemeral, and their fossil record is limited,” they wrote in the journal Nature Communications.

“The discovery of four mushroom forms, most with a complete intact cap containing distinct gills and a stalk, suggests evolutionary stasis of body form for 99 million years.”

The mushrooms are among the oldest ever found in amber. The earliest-known so far were dated to just a million years earlier.

A 440-million-year-old fossil of a fungus that looked like a mushroom has also previously been discovered in Scotland and Sweden.

The rove beetles described in the journal were found in amber from Burma and north-eastern China. 

The fossilized beetles feature many characteristics similar to those of the modern-day insects, such as large mandibles near their mouthpieces that are used to grasp or crush their food, according to the study. The scientists believe the insects existed roughly 125 million years ago.

“Interestingly, the mouthparts of these rove beetles, including enlarged mandibles, match those of modern [beetles] and indicate a mushroom feeding habit,” it said.

“Their finding displays an ancient ecological community assembling diverse mushrooms and beetles.”

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Tags: Fossil burma
Akhyari Hananto

I began my career in the banking industry in 1997, and stayed approx 6 years in it. This industry boost his knowledge about the economic condition in Indonesia, both macro and micro, and how to More understand it. My banking career continued in Yogyakarta when I joined in a program funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB),as the coordinator for a program aimed to help improve the quality of learning and teaching process in private universities in Yogyakarta. When the earthquake stroke Yogyakarta, I chose to join an international NGO working in the area of ?disaster response and management, which allows me to help rebuild the city, as well as other disaster-stricken area in Indonesia. I went on to become the coordinator for emergency response in the Asia Pacific region. Then I was assigned for 1 year in Cambodia, as a country coordinator mostly to deliver developmental programs (water and sanitation, education, livelihood). In 2009, he continued his career as a protocol and HR officer at the U.S. Consulate General in Surabaya, and two years later I joined the Political and Economic Section until now, where i have to deal with extensive range of people and government officials, as well as private and government institution troughout eastern Indonesia. I am the founder and Editor-in-Chief in Good News From Indonesia (GNFI), a growing and influential social media movement, and was selected as one of The Most Influential Netizen 2011 by The Marketeers magazine. I also wrote a book on "Fundamentals of Disaster Management in 2007"?, "Good News From Indonesia : Beragam Prestasi Anak Bangsa di dunia"? which was luanched in August 2013, and "Indonesia Bersyukur"? which is launched in Sept 2013. In 2014, 3 books were released in which i was one of the writer; "Indonesia Pelangi Dunia"?, "Indonesia The Untold Stories"? and "Growing! Meretas Jalan Kejayaan" I give lectures to students in lectures nationwide, sharing on full range of issues, from economy, to diplomacy Less
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