Mystery of common mushroom growing from an amphibian shows how little we know about fungi

Mystery of common mushroom growing from an amphibian shows how little we know about fungi - Education - News

Title: The Enigmatic Relationship Between Fungi and Frogs: A Mysterious Mushroom and a Golden-Backed Frog

Fungi, an essential yet enigmatic component of the natural world, continue to intrigue scientists and laypeople alike. On one hand, mushrooms and their extensive networks of fungal roots provide an array of valuable resources, from nutritious food to mind-altering drugs and eco-friendly materials, as well as facilitating symbiotic relationships between plants and trees that could potentially aid in combating climate change. Conversely, other members of the fungi family tree pose detrimental threats as disease-causing pathogens that can disrupt ecosystems and negatively impact human and animal health.

A recent discovery in a roadside pond in the Indian state of Karnataka sheds new light on fungi’s intricate relationship with the environment. In June 2023, naturalists stumbled upon a golden-backed frog (Lithobates chlorocephalus) bearing a tiny mushroom on its flank. The team documented this unusual sight and later identified the mushroom as a common bonnet (Mycena epipteridis), which typically grows on rotting wood.

The origins of this symbiotic or parasitic relationship between the frog and the mushroom are still unclear. It could potentially be the result of a fungal infection, which is prevalent among amphibians, or the evidence of a more complex and beneficial association. The researchers intend to investigate further during the next monsoon season to unravel the mysteries behind this fascinating encounter.

Meanwhile, in space news, NASA’s DART (Double Asteroid Redirection Test) mission successfully demonstrated asteroid deflection technology as a potential safeguard against future collisions with hazardous space rocks. The target of this historic mission was Dimorphos, a moonlet asteroid that orbits the larger asteroid Didymos. Upon impact, DART altered Dimorphos’ orbital period by approximately 32 to 33 minutes.

Recent studies have revealed that the collision did not result in a simple crater formation, but rather altered the asteroid fundamentally – comparable to taking a bite out of a chocolate M&M. This discovery sheds new light on the mechanics of asteroid impacts and their potential consequences for our solar , system.

Elsewhere in the natural world, researchers have discovered a diminutive, translucent fish species (Danionella cerebrum) that can produce sounds louder than an elephant – an astonishing feat for an animal of its size. Members of this species live in shallow waters off the coast of Myanmar and produce sounds higher than 140 decibels, making them the loudest fish ever recorded. Scientists are currently studying how these creatures generate such powerful noises to better understand their unique adaptations and behaviors.

Have you wondered why February had an extra day this year? This leap year is a necessary cosmic adjustment that keeps our seasons in sync and prevents them from falling out of alignment. Without a leap year, the summer solstice we typically experience in June would occur in December within 700 years.

A leap year consists of 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 46 seconds – five-and-a-quarter days longer than a regular year. To keep our calendar in check with the solar , year, we add an extra day every four years, ensuring our seasons remain balanced and harmonious.

In other news, NASA’s Odysseus rover, the first US-made vehicle to land on the moon in five decades, experienced a bumpy landing near the lunar south pole on February 22. Despite ending up on its side, data has been transmitted from all six NASA instruments onboard as well as commercial payloads. The rover now faces the challenge of surviving lunar night and the extreme temperatures that come with it, a crucial test for its durability and longevity on the lunar surface.

Lastly, astronomers have identified three tiny and faint moons orbiting the outermost planets in our solar , system – Uranus and Neptune. These discoveries expand our knowledge of these enigmatic planets and add to the vast tapestry of celestial bodies that continue to captivate our collective imagination.

For more thought-provoking stories, be sure to sign up for the next edition of Wonder Theory, where CNN Space and Science writers Ashley Strickland and Katie Hunt uncover the wonders of planets beyond our solar , system and the hidden stories of our ancient world.