Watch the magic of these tiny mushroom spores on the breeze, backlit by the filmmaker so that they can be seen. This spore dispersal footage, titled Spore Rain (mushrooms reproduction), is from New Atlantis Wild. The narration describes how billions, perhaps trillions of spores are released into the autumn air.
They may be quite similar or nearly identical but some will triumph and others, the vast majority, will not. Some will be breathed in by an animal, others will fall into the water, and almost none of the rest of them will find an appropriate place to land, and therefore will not survive.
But with luck one of these spores, perhaps just fractionally rounder or more aerodynamic than the others, will be able to fly higher on the air turbulence created by insects, or will be more capable of holding up thanks to this year’s lower humidity levels. And when it lands in the perfect place with the ideal adaptations, it will grow and prosper there where its siblings couldn’t.
Watch these related fungi videos next:
• Fungi Matter, an animation for Kew
• What is the fastest accelerator on the planet?
• The Fungarium and Millennium Seed Bank Partnership at Kew Gardens
Bonus: How Life Begins in the Deep Ocean
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