Image: Eureka Prize: Deliquescent Coprinopsis Autodigests
For promotion of New Scientist Eureka Prize for Science Photography only.
- Raoul Slater
- © Raoul Slater
Here we have a Coprinopsis, (formerly Coprinus) mushroom, in which the cap autodigests from the margin to facilitate spore release. These fungi have gills so closely spaced that spore discharge is facilitated by getting the old gill out of the way so that the newly matured basidia (the structures that make the spores) can discharge their spores into space. The droplet is pigmented brown as dark spores are released and caught in their millions by the fluid.