Will any mushroom walk? Yes! Have you seen it? I have eaten one! Is it a lie? No!
Moving mushrooms belong to the group of cordyceps (one can get its pictures by Google search). The spores of fungi fall on specific caterpillars. Their mycelia invade the tissues of the helpless caterpillar and convert it into a fungus. The caterpillar buries itself under the soil. A fruiting body grows out from the head of the caterpillar during summer season. This is a tragic, unique form of transformation.
How does the transformed caterpillar taste? Just like mushroom because it is no more a caterpillar, although it looks the same worm! Its size remains unchanged. Villagers spent days and nights to collect them. One kilogram of this mushroom may cost up to five hundred thousand rupees in the international market. Therefore, the hard work of collecting them is well rewarded. Usually the major profit goes to the vendors rather than to the gatherers.
Although ants are the most successful organisms in the world, there are cordyceps invading them also. They are not edible. They may wipe out an entire colony of ants in a short period. Affected ants climb on shrubs, strongly bite under leaves and die gradually. This is a behavioral adaptation of the fungus to grow well. That is, the character of the affected ants is controlled by the fungus. Ants know the threat posed by the fungus. Therefore, they take out the affected ones and dispose them in far away places.
Cordycepes are of high medicinal value. Due to its aphrodisiac property (the ability to retain youth and vigor) and curative value for fatigue and cancer they are very costly. They grow only in cold mountain top. A friend gave me one piece when I was working in Bhutan, near Tibet.
Did your health improve?
What difference will it make if a hungry elephant devours an apple?
( Replenished and reposted from Triond. http://www.triond.com/users/johnsonpjohn )