Clathrus ruber, the red cage fungus, is a species in the stinkhorn
family. The pink, orange or red fruit bodies form interlaced branches in
the shape of a round or oval hollow sphere. The fungus is saprobic,
feeding off decaying woody plant material, and is usually found in leaf
litter on garden soil, grassy places, or woodchip garden mulches.
Primarily a European species, C. ruber has been introduced to northern
Africa, Asia, Australia, and North and South America. The fruit body is
initially white and egg-shaped, attached to the ground by mycelial
cords. It has a delicate, leathery outer membrane enclosing the
compressed lattice that surrounds a layer of olive-green spore-bearing
slime called the gleba. As the egg ruptures and the fruit body expands,
the gleba is carried upward on the inner surfaces of the spongy lattice,
and the egg membrane remains as a volva at the base. The gleba smells
like rotting meat, which attracts flies and other insects that carry off
its spores. The fungus’s edibility is unknown, but its odor would deter
most from consuming it.
Today’s selected anniversaries:
Norman mercenaries landed at Bannow Bay in Leinster, marking
the beginning of the Norman invasion of Ireland.
The secret society known as the Order of the Illuminati was
founded by Adam Weishaupt and Adolph von Knigge in Ingolstadt, Bavaria,
The All-China Federation of Trade Unions, the world’s largest
trade union with 134 million members, was founded in Guangzhou, China.
Italian separatist Salvatore Giuliano and his gang fired into a
crowd of May Day marchers near Piana degli Albanesi, Sicily, killing 11
and wounding 33.
Carol Ann Duffy was appointed Poet Laureate of the United
Kingdom, the first woman, the first Scot, and the first openly bisexual
person to hold the position, as well as the first laureate to be chosen
in the 21st century.
Wiktionary’s word of the day:
1. The science of the design of equipment, especially so as to reduce
operator fatigue, discomfort and injury.
2. (economics, rare) Political economy.
Wikiquote quote of the day:
Everyone in my book accuses everyone else of being crazy. Frankly,
I think the whole society is nuts — and the question is: What does a
sane man do in an insane society?
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