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Hunters and Grazers

Most fungi can best be described as grazers, but a few are active hunters.

Hunter fungi prey on tiny protozoa and worm-like creatures called nematodes.

Some produce a sticky substance on their hyphae, which then act like flypaper, trapping passing prey.

A species called Arthrobotrys dactyloides sets snares made out of loops formed by its hyphae. When a nematode comes into contact with the loops, the movement triggers the fungal cells to swell with fluid, constricting the loop like a noose around the hapless nematode. Other hyphae then grow toward the trapped prey, eventually punching through its body where they begin absorbing its fluids.

 

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