Sunday, 11 June 2017

Dino-Era Mushroom’s Fossilisation Inspires Darwinian Just-So Story

A somewhat younger mushroom, presumably. Image by an unknown artist, public domain.

Joel Kontinen

How do you preserve a mushroom for 115 million years? After all, they tend to disintegrate in just a few days.

Live Science attempts to give us an explanation: The poor mushroom fell into a river and was fossilised.

This is followed by more storytelling:

After the mushroom fell into the river, it floated into a salty lagoon and sank to the bottom, where fine sediments began to cover it. Over time, the mushroom mineralized, and its tissues were replaced with pyrite, a mineral also known as fool's gold. Later, the pyrite transformed into the mineral goethite.”

Discovered in Brazil's Crato Formation, the mushroom is a mere 5 centimetres (2 inches) tall. Named Gondwanagaricites magnificus, it is the oldest known mushroom fossil.

Fossilisation is a very tricky business. It has to happen extremely fast.

The Flood of Noah’s days would have provided excellent conditions for preserving creatures of all shapes and sizes.


Geggel, Laura. 2017. World's Oldest Fossilized Mushroom Sprouted 115 Million Years Ago. Live Science (7 June).