A giant awakens on the Big Island.
Researchers identified a new class of mushrooms, Lichinomycetes, which descended from a single ancestor 300 million years ago. The 600 “oddball” mushrooms previously categorized in disparate groups all have a limited genome and live in symbiosis with other species because they lack important metabolic abilities.
Research revealed that ant pupae secrete a kind of “milk” that sustains larvae but must also be eaten by adults because it can harbor infections that will kill the pupae. This never-before-seen behavior shows one more way that ant colonies are completely interdependent for survival.