laeve Bird's Nest Fungus
Section through the
fruitbody of Crucibulum laeve
In this "nest" you can see
sections through eight of the "eggs". There may have been more eggs but
they were not in the plane of the cut. Each egg has a thick outer wall and the
pink stuff in the middle is thousands of tiny spores (basidiospores).
The fungus is growing on a piece of wood and you can see the annual rings and resin ducts
in the piece of conifer wood on which the fruitbody is produced. The eggs are
distributed by a "Splash Cup" mechanism. Falling raindrops with terminal
velocity land in the cups and the splash transfers the energy from the drop to the eggs
which are propelled violently from the nest. Eggs can be shot of as far as six feet
from the nest to new sites for growth. It is actually more complicated than this but
that's enough for now!
Click here for diagram