Prehistoric Carnivorous Fungi Lassoed its Prey
December 13, 2007
Scientists have discovered the oldest known carnivorous fungus, according to a study published in Science.
The 100 million-year-old fungus, found trapped in amber, employed sticky loop-like projections to snare its nematode prey.
The authors, led by Alexander Schmidt from Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin in Berlin, Germany, say that the fungi went through a lifecycle stage “in which they produced buds called blastospores instead of trapping rings, and grew as yeast colonies,” according to a statement from Science. The researchers propose that the stage “may have helped the fungi adapt from wetter to drier environments.”