Monday, November 09, 2009

Fungi Not From Yuggoth: Fungi is Durable

In the 7 November Science News we find:

Microfossils that show up in large quantities in ancient rocks deposited during Earth’s largest mass extinction are fungal spores, not algae as some recent studies had proposed, new research suggests.

About 251 million years ago, at the end of the Permian period, life on Earth had its closest call: In a geologically short period of time, a mass extinction claimed more than 95 percent of species in the oceans and 70 percent of those on land.

The researchers took samples of rock deposited during the late Permian extinctions, used strong acids to dissolve the minerals and then analyzed the organic matter that remained.

So what does this tell us about the durability of fungal life? That Lovecraft's instincts were good. We may not encounter bipedal fungus that wants to rip out our brains for an appetizer, but long before we came around, and long after we depart - fungus will be churning biomatter, and lactating enzymes.

Get used to our place in the cosmos. We're not at the top of the food chain - we are food. And there's a fungus out there with your name on it.

The Outer Beings are perhaps the most marvellous organic things in or beyond all space and time-members of a cosmos-wide race of which all other life-forms are merely degenerate variants. They are more vegetable than animal, if these terms can be applied to the sort of matter composing them, and have a somewhat fungoid structure; though the presence of a chlorophyll-like substance and a very singular nutritive system differentiate them altogether from true cormophytic fungi. Indeed, the type is composed of a form of matter totally alien to our part of space - with electrons having a wholly different vibration-rate.

1 comment:

sommerville said...

No wonder I hate mushrooms-- I have that subconscious knowledge that they want to destroy me!


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