Tiny Fungus Pioneered Life on Terra Firma

Before primitive ocean-dwellers could crawl out of the primordial sea millions of years ago, there needed to be an ecosystem capable of sustaining them. An ancient, pioneering fungus may have played a key role in transforming Earth’s surface into a life-sustaining ecosystem.

Dr. Martin Smith, now at Durham University, discovered the 440-million-year-old fossilized remains of a stringy fungus belonging to the genus Tortotubus — similar to mushrooms today. The minuscule fossils are believed

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