Humungous Fossil Fungus

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Humungous fossil fungus found, according to reports in Eureka Alert 23 April 2007, ABC (Australia) News in Science, and Biology News Net 24 April 2007. A mysterious 6 metre (20ft) tree-like fossil has been identified as a giant fungus by scientists at the University of Chicago. The fossil, named Prototaxites, has been the subject of a debate for over a century. It was originally claimed to be a conifer but other scientists claimed it was a giant fungus, lichen or mass of algae.

These claims were met with some scepticism, as Kevin Boyce of Geophysical Sciences at University of Chicago explained: “A 20 foot tall fungus doesn’t make any sense. Neither does a 20 foot tall algae make any sense, but here’s the fossil.” Boyce, a geochemist, tested the fossil for carbon-12 and carbon-13. The relative amounts of these two types of carbon are different in plants and fungi because plants carry out photosynthesis and fungi do not. The results fitted those of a fungus and not a plant. This confirmed the claims that it was fungus by previous scientists who had studied the structure of the fossil. Scientists are not sure why the fungus grew so big. Some suggest it is because there were no animals to eat them 400 million years ago.

ABC

Editorial Comment: A better explanation for this giant fungus is that it grew in a better environment. The fossil record is full of giant animals and plants that indicate that the world was a better place in the past. Genesis tells us the original earth was watered by a mist rising up from the ground each day, and that the climate was mild enough for people to live without any clothes. Such a balmy moist climate would have been quite suitable for a giant fungus. The fact that it is extinct is further evidence that the world started out good and has degenerated, just as Genesis tells us. (Ref. isotopes, extinction, giants)

Evidence News 15 August 2007

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