Lichen dating method

03 May

Because of the difficulty in identifying strange fungi by a lay person, I usually do not recommend trying them in your favorite culinary recipe. 1996]f all the five major kingdoms of living organisms on earth, the fungi certainly contain some of the most bizarre and fascinating species.

Mycology is the study of fungi, and much of the current research in this field is at the molecular level.

For example, molecular mycologists are trying to piece together the very complex interrelationships between fungal taxa using comparative DNA sequencing. There are about 100,000 known species of mushrooms, rusts, molds, mildews, stinkhorns, puffballs, truffles and other organisms assigned to the Kingdom Fungi, and hundreds of new species are described each year.

You have probably heard about some of these modern techniques (PCR and RFLP) if you followed the infamous O. They come in an astonishing variety of shapes, colors and sizes, from brilliant red cups and orange jellylike masses to strange fungi resembling golfballs, bird nests with eggs, starfish, parasols and even male genitalia (see next paragraph).

There are many different species of earth stars throughout North America.

Another earthstar called "acrobatic earthstar" (Geastrum fornicatum) from the chaparral understory in San Diego County.

This stinkhorn belongs to the ornate stinkhorn family (Clathraceae), with an erect, angled or fluted stalk and reddish-brown lantern-shaped tip.

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The swollen "head" or cap is coated with a black, putrid, musilaginous mass of spore slime.

The rays are firmly attached to a clump of mycelium and leaf debris.

The current specific epithet "fornicatum" has several meanings, but adultery between unmarried couples doesn't seem appropriate.

The downward-folded rays ("legs") of this fungus form perfect arches.

Another metaphor refers to the rays standing on their tips, like a ballet dancer standing on their toes.