Image of the Month: Old Mold
Discovery of a fungus-like terrestrial fossil – the oldest yet found – could rejig Earth’s timeline
Lauren Robertson | | Quick Read
A team of researchers have used a combination of analytical techniques (including secondary ion MS and Raman spectroscopy) to characterize a 635 million-year-old microfossil – the oldest terrestrial fossil ever found (1). The image above shows the filamentous structure of the fossil, which has led the team to conclude that a fungus is the most likely origin. This finding could be crucial in helping scientists better understand the timeline of our planet’s terrestrialization – the emergence of organisms from the sea onto land.
- T Gan et al., Nat Commun, 12, 641 (2020). DOI: 10.1038/s41467-021-20975-1.