Itty Bitty Bird’s Nests

These fungi have the common name of “Bird’s Nest” or splash cups.

Each may look like a tiny nest full of eggs, but it acts like a catapult .

No bird mama would shoot her precious eggs out of the nest like balls from a canon,

but this Cyanthus olla does just that.

These tiny splash cups are ripe and ready for rain.

IMG_3481
Bird’s nest fungi Cyanthus olla

When a raindrop plops into the cup, it triggers an ejection mechanism (funiculus)

to shoot out the eggs (peridioles) with a coil and sticky blob attached.

This contraption flies a few feet into the air and the coil wraps around whatever it hits.

The “egg” hangs around until it dries and splits open, releasing its spores.

IMG_3485
Bird’s nest fungi Cyanthus olla

Then many more itty bitty bird’s nest form.  Who knew fungi could be so fun?

FLOWER

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