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Sunday, December 7, 2014

The largest and oldest living creatures on Earth

What creature which deserves to be called the largest on Earth? Some people may answered the blue whales, a marine mammals which can reach the size of 30 meters and weighs 180 tons.

If You or someone answers the blue whale, the answer was wrong. The largest creature on Earth turns are the 'honey fungus'. The fungus has a color like honey. This creatures that covers all types of fungi of the genus Armillaria.
Honey fungus, the largest and oldest creatures on Earth. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/1Cts8RZ)
Largest honey fungus found in the Blue Mountains, Oregon. Its size reaches 965 hectares, covers an area of 1,665 times the soccer field. Class of fungi that have similar root section (rhizomorphs) and threads (mycelium) are useful for finding the food. With its flagship weapon, the honey fungus creeping, attacking the plants over a wide area. The honey fungus attacks was a nightmare for the planters.

As reported by the IFLScience site on Monday, November 24, 2014, scientists began to realize the large-size of honey fungus after two specimens found in 1992.

The first specimen of the Armillaria Gallica species which is alleged to have around 1,500 years old, has a size of 15 hectares, and found at Crystal Falls, Michigan. While the second specimen is A. Solidipes species found in Washington, with the size of the covers an area of 600 hectares.

Scientists found the honey fungus when they investigating mass death of the trees in the national forest region of Oregon. At that time, scientists took 112 samples of live and dead trees in the area. Revealed, only four trees were not infected by A. solidipes.

Further analysis revealed that 61 trees are attacked by honey fungus that are genetically identical, that meaning they were attacked by a single organism. Organisms that attack has aged was around 2,400-year-old, and has a coverage area of 9.6 square kilometers.

Discovery of honey fungus makes scientists think back about the concept of an organism that has been defined as a union of cells that communicate with each other for a particular purpose. Meanwhile, at the age of 2,400 years, A solidipes also became the oldest living creatures on Earth. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | IFLSCIENCE]
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