Depending on who you ask, fungi either evolved
much earlier or at the same time as the first land
We can tell by looking in the fossil
record. There is some evidence that says there are
fungal hypae (the long strands of fungi,
big mushrooms) that are present as early as 800
million years ago. But because the fossil record
is not perfect, important physical characters of
fungi are not seen that early. By about 420
million years ago we have evidence of both land
plants and fungi at the same time. So it is
difficult to say which actually evolved first.
separate note, green algae (like some of the
seaweed in the ocean) are thought to be similar to
the ancestors of land plants because they both
have chlorophyll and photosynthesis. So it
can be said that algae evolved before land plants.
We don't know for sure. Plants evolved, we
think, during the Ordovician period around
million years ago, since we think that we have
found spores of mosses that old. The oldest
fossils known of plants themselves are Silurian,
440-410 million years old. Fungi do not
fossilize readily, and there are few fungal
The Ediacara biota (c. 570 million years
old) have been suggested to have been fungi , but
this is doubtful (I think that they're animals).
As a result, we don't really know just how old
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