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Oldest Fossil of any Land-Dwelling Organism yet found.

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posted on Mar, 2 2016 @ 02:20 PM
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The fossil is of a fungus dating back some 440 million years and is part of what made our evolution possible , known as Tortotubus the fungus is believed to be part of the "process of rot" that led to the formation of soil and so the development of the ecosystem that spawned us.

On the left is the fossilized Fungus and on the right it's modern day counterpart.


“During the period when this organism existed, life was almost entirely restricted to the oceans: nothing more complex than simple mossy and lichen-like plants had yet evolved on the land,” said the paper’s author Dr Martin Smith, who conducted the work while at the University of Cambridge’s Department of Earth Sciences, and is now based at Durham University. “But before there could be flowering plants or trees, or the animals that depend on them, the processes of rot and soil formation needed to be established.”


It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly when life first migrated from the seas to the land, since useful features in the fossil record that could help identify the earliest land colonisers are rare, but it is generally agreed that the transition started early in the Palaeozoic era, between 500 and 450 million years ago. But before any complex forms of life could live on land, there needed to be nutrients there to support them. Fungi played a key role in the move to land, since by kick-starting the rotting process, a layer of fertile soil could eventually be built up, enabling plants with root systems to establish themselves, which in turn could support animal life.
www.cam.ac.uk...


From small beginnings come great things.




posted on Mar, 2 2016 @ 02:42 PM
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a reply to: gortex

That's one successful organism to still have phenotype-similar living organisms today. Very fascinating! I wish we could see just how much they spread from the oceans and how dense their populations where



posted on Mar, 2 2016 @ 02:46 PM
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Wow that's special!

When you realize that the fungus-genetic is more ancient then the concept of ancient..

You realize God was a mushroom



posted on Mar, 2 2016 @ 02:48 PM
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originally posted by: Elementalist
Wow that's special!

When you realize that the fungus-genetic is more ancient then the concept of ancient..

You realize God was a mushroom


Maybe the gods were just 'on them' and wanted to give them the first chance at life on land?!??!?!



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