How Ferns Spread Themselves

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Ferns don’t rely on pollen and pollinators to spread. Instead, they use a little water and a lot of ingenuity, as shown in this video from Deep Look. Peer underneath a fern and you’ll find leaves dotted with spores. As they mature, water evaporates from the sporangium, eventually triggering a catapult that launches the spores. Those spores grow little gametophytes that produce the fern’s sperm and eggs; given a little rain or a nice puddle, the sperm and eggs can find each other and trigger the birth of a new baby fern. (Video and image credit: Deep Look)

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