I have a question about the bird’s nest fungi. What purpose those those little egg lookin’ things serve? We don’t have them where I live (I think, I haven’t seen them if we do)

The little “eggs” are
filled with spores! The spores are formed inside the capsules (called

The peridioles are
launched out of the “nest” (called the peridium) when hit by a falling raindrop at a precise angle. Raindrops that hit the rim of the cup/nest are apparently most
effective at launching the peridioles. They can travel via raindrop-launch up
to 1 meter!

Also interesting to note:
the peridioles are often attached to the nests by little wiry cords (called
funiculi). There are some species of
bird’s nest fungi, however, without these cords. When hit at the right
angle, the funiculus (or funicular cord) is said to help the peridiole wrap around whatever it lands
on (image below).

There are some AMAZING videos of this that I’m unable to post in a reply but they’re available here if you scroll to the bottom of this study.

In my experience, bird’s nest fungi are hard to find only because of their tiny size but they’re said to be widely distributed, so I’d keep looking! I tend to find them growing next to other mushrooms or if I’m looking super carefully at the ground anyway (like in my garden if I’m pulling weeds or taking photos of insects). I’ve honestly never found them while intentionally looking for them. They’re saprobic, meaning they feed off decaying matter, so I often find them in very heavily mulched areas growing on woodchips or in areas under trees or bushes where there’s decaying leaf litter.

Reposted from http://ift.tt/2cohMvv.

Tags: wow, that is the awesomest thing I've learned, so far, today.

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