Jurassic Park can now Boast Mushrooms

In his book Jurassic Park, Micheal Crichton imagines the possibility to extracting dinosaur DNA from mosquitos entombed in amber and using the extracts to genetically engineer T-rex and Compies alike.  A recent discovery by an avid amber collector and scientists at Oregon State University may help enrich this park of the future: they found a 9 nine-hundredths-inch-long mushroom cap encased in a 100 million year piece of amber (yep, same age as some dinosaur fossils, conveniently enough).

To the avid mycologist out there, this should be the oldest known mushroom and will likely help our understanding of fungal evolution by providing another fossil for phylogeneticists to work with.  Want to read more about the mushroom and the discovery of a tripartite association of the shroom with ancient insects? Check out the Oregonian, then.

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