Who says scientists can’t write? Moselio Schaechter finds a lovely passage about a lowly fungus from 1884.
Small Things Considered: The Victorian Way With Words
and, like just about every story in biology, there’s a parasite story there too. Since Pilobolus goes a progress through the guts of a cow and exits in a pile of dung and cows don’t graze around such piles it has developed a kind of hydrolic rocket mechanism to launch itself from dung to grass. If that wasn’t neat enough the larvae of a lungworm (can’t remember which species) that also faces the problem of getting from dung to grass to cow actually invades the Pilobus fungi and gets a free ride.
How come we post about the same unusual organism on the same day?
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Carl Zimmer writes about science regularly for The New York Times and magazines such as DISCOVER, which also hosts his blog, The Loom. He is the author of 12 books, the most recent of which is Science Ink: Tattoos of the Science Obsessed.