The saucer-like top of a bird's nest fungus launches spore capsules by deflecting heavy raindrops that dislodge the capsules and disperse them.

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"The tiny bird's nest fungus produces a little saucer in which nestle a few small 'eggs'. The clutch size varies from a couple to eight or ten. Each is a small capsule filled with spores and each is attached to the saucer by a thin filament. The saucer is so shaped that if a heavy raindrop falls in it, water droplets are deflected up around the sides, detaching the capsules and projecting them for a distance of up to six feet. Their attaching threads unwind behind them and finally break. They have a sticky end so that as the capsule shoots through surrounding vegetation, the filament catches on a leaf or a stem and the capsule hangs there. Then when conditions are just right, it releases its spores." (Attenborough 1995:174-176)

The Private Life of PlantsBBC BooksAugust 21, 1995
David Attenborough

Journal article
The splash-cup dispersal mechanism in plantsBrodie, HJ

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