Cup fungus in Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica
© Alex Hyde/Minden Picture
Falling for fungi. Let’s go foraging
It’s peak season for many kinds of mushrooms, but to find this unique species you’ll have to travel to someplace tropical. This cup fungus, cookeina, was photographed growing on the rainforest floor in Costa Rica’s Corcovado National Park. Like other fungi, it serves as a decomposer, helping to break down dead organic matter in the ecosystem. The pronounced cup shape aids in spore dispersal by causing raindrops to splash the mushroom’s spores out into the surrounding area, allowing the fungus to spread.