Bird’s Nest Fungi have an amazing way of dispersing their spores using nothing more than a raindrop.
The nests are trumpet-shaped so that when a raindrop hits the inner wall, it careers into the bottom of the nest and splashes right back up along the wall, carrying some eggs with them.
The eggs fly up at speeds of several feet per second and stick onto plants well above the forest floor.
The eggs can now shrivel up, releasing the spores within them into the breeze. On the other hand a herbivore munching on some plants might eat the eggs. Their hard, outer casing protects the spores from the ravages of digestion so they can be released once they come out the other side.
Quite impressive for something that looks like little more than rustic decoration!
Images: Monica R./quas/John Roper