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Pilobolus crystallinus 2

Image of Hat-thrower fungus

Description:

Sporangia on Pilobolus crystallinus - this fungus shoots its spore packages from the place where it is growing up to two meters (six feet) distance away by building up turgor pressure in a balloon-like structure underneath the sporangium. They will grow toward the light to ensure the spores are going somewhere other than back into the dung heap where the hyphae are growing on. They do that because they depend on animals picking up the spores while grazing, but those animals won't eat the grass underneath their poop piles so if the fungus would just sit and wait or drop the spores right where it grows it would have a much smaller radius than when it is picked up by a grazer and dumped with its own nice pile of poop to feed on in another place of the meadow.

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BlueRidgeKitties
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