Researchers have found 100 million years old fossilized slime mold, Most people associate the idea of creatures trapped in amber with insects or spiders that are realistically preserved in fossil tree resin. An international research team has found the oldest oil mold identified to date.
The fossil is, around 100 million years old fossilized slime moldand Myanmar stores it in amber.
Slime molds, also called myxomycetes, belong to the “amoebozes” group. These are microscopic organisms that live most of the time as single moving cells hidden in the ground or in weathered wood where bacteria eat.
However, they can unite to form intricate, beautiful and delicate fruit bodies that function to form and spread spores.
Because fossil deposits are very rare, it is very difficult to study their evolutionary history. So far there have only been two confirmed reports of fossil fruit bodies that were only 35 to 40 million years old. Myxomycetes fossil detection is very unlikely because the fruit body is very short-lived. Therefore researchers are amazed at the chain of events that should lead to the preservation of this newly discovered fossil.
Fragile fruit bodies are most likely torn from tree bark by lizards, who are also trapped in sticky wood resins and eventually embedded in them together with reptiles, investigators said. The lizard separated the body of the fruit relatively early, when the spores had not been released, which now revealed valuable information about the evolutionary history of this amazing organism.
The researchers were surprised to find that 100 million years old fossilized slime mold can easily be classified as genera that are still alive today. The fossil provides a unique idea about the longevity of ecological adaptation of Myxomycetes. The ability of the matrix form to develop long periods of rest in its life cycle, which can take years, also tends to add to the extraordinary similarity of the fossil with its closest relatives now.