Ever since I was a kid, I’ve held fungi in high esteem. There’s something innately mysterious and otherworldly about fungi, and thankfully I’m not the only one who things so. Discover Magazine has collected some rather fantastic images of the delightful Kingdom, as well as some rather astonishing facts to go along with some of the more rare, and dangerous, varieties. Not only is it educational for parents, but always good to inform geeklets about the natural world. You know, just in case.
From the slideshow, re: the Stinkhorn (pictured above).
Many fungi reproduce by creating fruiting bodies that produce spores, which are later dispersed. Though some fruiting bodies are microscopic, many are large, conspicuous and somewhat bizarre–like this specimen known by the common name of the starfish stinkhorn. It produces its spores in a nasty-smelling slime that attracts flies and other insects, which crawl around in the slime, picking up the spores on their feet and dispersing them.
(via Discover Magazine)