6 days ago
Caption this! 🍄
Video by @WoodlandCravings
These are mature stalked Puffballs. The softest squeeze will shoot spores everywhere, creating more Puffballs.
The puffball is probably the second most familiar mushroom morphology. Many people can remember finding one of these as a child and giving in to the uncontrollable desire to kick the ball-shaped mushroom. Anyone who has tried this knows that your efforts are rewarded with a fabulous puff of spores. This puff is not just for the amusement of small children but is actually a rather ingenious spore dispersal mechanism. Puffballs are gasteroid fungi, meaning that spores develop inside the mushroom. All gasteroid fungi have lost the ability to forcibly discharge their spores, so they have to come up with other ways to release their spores. Puffballs achieve this by puffing their spores out of small openings. When the spores are mature a small opening (or a few small openings) called an ostiole develops on the surface of the mushroom. When a raindrop (or an animal’s/ someone’s foot) lands on the surface of the mushroom, the surface is pushed down, which forces the spores inside up through the ostiole and into the air.