Researchers has studied ‘flor de coco’ a mushroom which grows underneath young palm trees among decaying leaves in Brazil. It has been found that the big, yellow mushrooms attract insects with their bioluminescence characteristic during night time which helps spread its spores to different areas of the forest.
‘Flor de coco’ means coconut flower.
The first asked question in print ‘Why do fungi make light?’ by Aristotle more than 2,000 years ago was answer by their research team.
“The answer appears to be that fungi make light so they are noticed by insects that can help the fungus colonize new habitats.” said biochemist Cassius Stevani of Brazil’s Instituto de Química-Universidade de São Paulo.
“Bioluminescence has independently developed in various different life forms, including fungi, fish and insects” said Jay Dunlap, a geneticist and molecular biologist at Dartmouth College’s Geisel School of Medicine.
There are total 100,000 identified species of fungi, among them 71 are bioluminescent. And Flor de coco is one of the biggest and brightest of them.