UPI: UC geologist photographs oldest known land fossils

International research team writes about microfossils found in China

United Press International reported on a discovery coauthored by a University of Cincinnati geologist of the oldest known land fossils on Earth.

The microfossils of fungi were found in 635-million-year-old sedimentary rock in China. The discovery was published in the journal Nature Communications.

UC associate professor of geology Andrew Czaja, a paper co-author, captured microscopic images of the crystal-like fungus. Researchers believe fungus in caves helped speed the end of a planet-wide ice age by reversing feedback loops.

The discovery could suggest that fungus predated terrestrial plants.

Lead author Tian Gan, a postdoctoral researcher with the Chinese Academy of Sciences, called the finding "an accidental discovery."

But Gan said the fossil could help us better understand the forces behind climate change more than 600 million years ago.

Read the UPI story.

Featured image at top: A microscopic image shows the filament-like microfossils found in China. Photo by Andrew Czaja/University of Cincinnati.

Andrew “Andy” Czaja, Geology Assistant Professor shown here in his office, lab and outside GEO-PHYS building Monday July 27, 2020. UC/ Joseph Fuqua II

UC geologist Andrew Czaja, pictured in this file photo, was part of an international team that discovered 635-million-year-old microfossils in China. Photo/Joseph Fuqua II/UC Creative + Brand

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