Starting out, the Sessile Earth Star is spherical in shape. They are also considered hypogeous in the beginning which basically means the fruit body is underground. As they mature they push up through the ground and then the outer layer (called the exoperidium) opens up. As it opens the flesh splits into 5 - 8 "rays" (that is according to Wikipedia...in my observations they've always split into 7). The inner sac is greyish to a yellowish, whitish color that turns to a dark brown as the spores mature. The spores are released through a cone shaped pore that protrudes from the top of the sac. Raindrops cause the sac to contract which helps to release the spores. These mushrooms have no stalk or stem.
For the developers at New York start-up Networked Organisms, smartphones are the butterfly nets of the 21st Century. Their tool, Project Noah, lets people upload photos of plants and wildlife around them, creating a map of the natural world and contributing to scientific research in the process.
Bespectacled scientists of yore would carry around hefty field guides, made up of hundreds of pages of text and photos. But these days, smartphone owners have a lighter option: an app called Project Noah, which aims to help people identify plants and animals as well as collect data from "citizen scientists" about where certain species are located.
Project Noah enables us to be part of a more focused online community where we can learn more about wildlife around us and contribute to scientific research. It pulls participants into deeper, more meaningful engagement by enabling people to go on “missions” to collectively map changes based on sightings.
A modern invention that may also hold the key to saving species in the future. Project Noah is a global study that encourages nature lovers to document the wildlife they encounter, using a purpose built phone app and web community. In addition to the virtual "collection" of species, Project Noah encourages citizen science by linking up with existing surveys including the International Spider Survey and the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network.