SINCLAIR STAMMERS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SINCLAIR STAMMERS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Earth star fungi (Geastrum sp.) showing the spore sacs (round). In dry weather the 'petals' dry and curl up around the soft spore sac, protecting it. Often, the whole fungus will then become detached from the ground and can be moved around by air currents or animals. When conditions are damper the 'petals' uncurl lifting the spore sac up. This allows rain or animal movement to hit the spore sac so that the spores are puffed out when conditions are favourable for them to germinate. Photographed in the Amazon rainforest at the Tiputini Biodiversity Station, Ecuador.
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