Friday, November 04, 2005

Fossilized fungi caught with flagella off!

` Something else Dory pointed out to me...

` Fungi, which formerly inhabited what is now a dry well in Madhya Pradesh, India, have been discovered doing something which us eukaryotes are known to do.
` According to the Indian journal Current Science in October, this is the first time that anything had been fossilized in the act of copulating!
` The organisms in question were tiny slime molds that lived 65 million years ago, at the end of the Age of Dinosaurs. The 'swarm cell' stage of this fungus had been preserved, which is where each cell 'fuses' to another in order to sexually reproduce. Once fused, the cells' long flagella are shed.
` So, finding a microscopic fossil of two swarm cells that have fused together, without flagella, shows that they were having sex. A truly rare find, as they are quite delicate at this stage.


` Well, what else would you expect? Two Tyrannosaurs going at it? Not likely...

6 comments:

Aaron said...

Wow! Talk about vintage porn! I think I might have seen a video that featured two slime molds before.

Galtron said...

Is that the one starring the myxo... something or others?
It's interesting about the way they reproduce, with different stages of life cycle!

Aaron said...

Fossilized fungi found jettisoning flagella.

Say that 5 times fast.

S E E Quine said...

` I agree, galtron, that is interesting the way slime molds have very complex life cycles for such little things.
` ...Much like the plasmodium parasite, which goes through some life stages while inside mosquitos and reproduces in human blood cells, causing malaria!

cassie d said...

maybe their offspring will be named Gleep and Gloop......

S E E Quine said...

` No, they're too dead to have offspring.