Ant parasite 3 (IMAGE) Oregon State University Caption Oregon State University research has identified the oldest known specimen of a fungus parasitizing an ant, and the fossil also represents a new fungal genus and species. A mushroom is the reproductive structure of many fungi, including the ones you find growing in your yard, and OSU's George Poinar Jr. and a collaborator in France named their discovery Allocordyceps baltica. They found the new type of Ascomycota fungi in an ant preserved in 50-million-year-old amber from Europe's Baltic region. The mushroom is coming out of the ant's rectum, and vegetative part of the fungus is emerging from its abdomen and neck. (image courtesy George Poinar Jr.) Credit George Poinar Jr., OSU Usage Restrictions None License Licensed content Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.