Cup fungus in Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica
© Alex Hyde/Minden Picture
Falling for fungi. Tropical treasures
It’s peak season for many kinds of mushroom, but to find this unique species you’ll have to travel someplace tropical. This cup fungus, cookeina, was photographed growing on the rainforest floor in Costa Rica. Like other fungi, it serves as a decomposer, helping to break down dead plants and animals in the ecosystem. Their unique cup shape aids in spore dispersal; it helps raindrops to splash spores out into the forest where the fungi can spread.