Well-preserved mushrooms and beetles discovered by researchers in Burmese amber


Mushrooms or Agaricomycetes are the type of fungal growth that has domed cap shape on the stalk along with gills present at the bottom of the cap.

In an amazing discovery, Mushrooms that have been well protected for 99 million years have been discovered along with beetles, which are 125 million years old. Both were preserved inside an amber. Amber is a fossilized tree resin.

The discovery

A research, led by Prof. Huang Diying and his team from the Nanjing Institute of Geology and Paleontology (NIGPAS) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, pulled out a variety of gilled mushrooms and mycophagous rove beetles from the Burmese amber.

These beetles belong to Oxyporinae, whose current members have an association with soft-textured mushrooms.

One of the newly discovered species of mushroom is Palaeoagaracites antiques, which is about 99 million years old. The other is Archaeomarasmius leggetti, which is nearly 90 million years old.

The remaining groups of the mushroom fossils are discovered from Miocene Dominican amber, which is about 20 million years old.

What researchers discovered

The discovered mushrooms have been preserved properly because they were present inside the amber. They can be divided into four groups. A stalk having cap and gills is seen in most of the amber.

The newly found fossils are a part of the 111,000 discovered fossils from Burma, which are preserved in Nanjing Institute of Geology and Paleontology in China.

The outcomes of the research represent an old ecological community, which has varied mushrooms and beetles. The beetles which are preserved possess big mandibles, along with big apical labial palpomeres and specific kind of sensory organ system.

As per the study, the beetles were found in the amber in northeastern China and Burma. The study also reveals that these conserved fossils have features similar to modern beetles, as well as the feeding habit of mushrooms.

The researchers were amazed by how well these fossils were preserved and they were similar to the mushrooms seen today.

The results of the study have been published in teh journal Nature.