Saturday, March 21, 2009

A carnivorous toadstool

I found this specimen of oyster mushroom Pleurotus ostreatus in Hollingside Woods in Durham yesterday. Its microscopic hyphal threads, that digest the dead wood that it grows on, exude an anaethetic that paralyses minute nematode worms that also live in the dead wood, allowing the hyphae to invade and digest the stupified nematodes. An exquisite fungus, with gills like fan vaulting in a cathedral roof.

1 comment:

  1. Superb lighting. Very architectural fungi. Like a cathedral roof, as you suggest, with perhaps a suggestion of the Sydney opera house.


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