Flying Squirrels, Spotted Owls, and Truffles

Tim Eck
Sun, 18 Feb 2018 06:19:18 PST
Truffles are mushrooms that have evolved to be eaten.
The common store mushroom is just the fruiting body of a fungus that is
mostly composed of that cottony white mycelium you like see when you turn
over a damp log, etc.  When you eat this mushroom, you subvert its
reproductive strategy which is to release the purplish brown spores from the
gills on the underside into a habitable area.  
Truffles have 're-strategized' their reproduction/dispersion mechanism by
coating spores with an indigestible coating and enhancing predation by
luring animals with an irresistible smell.  Unfortunately for us in North
America, the smell is 'irresistible' to voles in most cases, unlike some of
Europe's best truffles.  Most truffles are from mycorrhizal fungi and they
can be from groups across the spectrum from basidiomycetes (agarics,
boletus) and ascomycetes (morels), but mostly exclusively truffle groups.
Google it.

Tim Eck

"A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and
making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die,
and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it."

Max Planck

> -----Original Message-----
> From: pbs [] On Behalf Of
> Glattstein
> Sent: Sunday, February 18, 2018 8:25 AM
> To:
> Subject: [pbs] Flying Squirrels, Spotted Owls, and Truffles
>  From a recent lecture I attended on Mushrooms Matter:
> Consider this: there are truffles that grow in the old growth forests of
> Pacific Northwest. They may not be as flavorful as the truffles of France
> Italy. But they are indisputably truffles.
> .
> Flying squirrels love to eat truffles. And spotted owls love to eat
> flying squirrels. [These happen to be a great horned owl and her owlet,
> but they are what I have to photograph around here.] So the squirrels
> consume truffles, the owls consume squirrels. What does the truffle get
> out of this? Both squirrels and owls excrete spores, "planting" more
> truffles. Interconnections of the web of life.
> from Judy in western New Jersey, where we got about 6 inches of snow
> last night, and this morning is clear skies and sunny.
> _______________________________________________
> pbs mailing list

pbs mailing list…

More information about the pbs mailing list