SINCLAIR STAMMERS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SINCLAIR STAMMERS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Saprophytic fungus. Unidentified fungus growing on a dead beetle. Fungi that feed on dead matter are known as saprophytes. The mycelial body (black strands) of this fungus has grown through the beetle carcass, feeding on nutrients contained in the body tissues. Saprophytic fungi recycle nutrients in an ecosystem, releasing back into the environment the chemical compounds 'locked' within organisms. Photographed in Ecuador.
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