Monday, September 22, 2008

fungus spore acceleration

The acceleration record for an airborne natural system is not held by a cheetah, nor a flea. According to this video from New Scientist it is held by a fungus spore. Some fungi live in cow manure and need to be ingested by a herbivore to propagate. The spores therefore eject themselves from the dung at 25 m/s (90 km/hr). In a second from launch they travel 1,000,000 times their own body length! With acceleration like that, a Melbournian getting out of bed in the morning could expect to find himself in Brisbane before he had completely put on his slippers. Its quite amazing the stuff that comes out of dung if you take the time to look.

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