Monday, October 4, 2010

Take a Look: Another Fungus

Have you ever seen pictures of a koala clinging to the side of a tree? That’s what this fungus reminded me of when I first saw it. Isn’t it amazing? I’ve never seen anything like it.

It was clinging for dear life to a snag (a dead tree that is still standing up), absorbing nutrients all the while.

A closer look at the fungus revealed even more treats. The fruiting body (what you see here) looks sort of like a ghostly waterfall frozen in place.

And take a look at the top. There is some sort of transparent film running between the fungus and the tree. It seems like, thanks to the power of gravity, the weight of the giant fruiting body is pulling the entire structure away from its anchoring spot on the dead tree. I wonder how long that might take? Weeks? Months? Years? Will the harshness of winter accelerate the process?

When we got home, I did a quick Google search and realized that this fungus is closely related to the one I described last week. Even though this fungus looks quite different, it is also a kind of coral tooth fungus. How cool is that?


  1. WOW! This is amazing. Where did you see it? Here in Massachusetts?
    I need to take a hike in my back woods to see what I can find.

  2. Ah ha! That can be the problem with wondrous first person. Sometimes you can get so wrapped up in the glorious description that you forget to be scientifici--always recording where you find a specimen, noting the date and time, and weather conditions.

    I saw this amazing fungus in New Hampshire, but according to info I found, it could grow in Massachusetts too.

    Find out more about it in next week's post, which will focus on the serious third person voice that scientists usually use in their notebooks.