Mosses reproduce by spores. Moss spores are formed
by bringing a female and a male cell together. A spore lands in a moist
spot where it grows into a special kind of moss plant. This plant usually
looks like a small green thread. The thread develops buds that grow
into small plants. Some of these small plants are female and others
are male. When the plants are close enough together, and there
is some water present a male sperm is able to swim to a female egg and
fertilize it. The fertilized egg makes a capsule in which new spores
are formed and the process begins again.
Ferns are similar to mosses. When a fern spore
gets wet it germinates and turns into a tiny heart-shaped plant.
This plant produces both male sperm and female eggs. When the male
sperm and female egg come together fertilization occurs. The
fertilized egg grows into a new and different plant that will become a
large fern. This mature fern produces spores under its leaves or
If you look carefully at a fern you can see the spore caps under the frond
of a mature fern. The spores will eventually burst open and
start the cycle again.
Directions: Answer the questions about
reproduction in mosses and ferns.
Mosses and ferns reproduce by
Spores are found on the underside of a frond on a
Which plant creates a plant that looks like a small green
Which plant creates a plant that looks like a tiny heart-shaped
Which plant produces small male plants and small female
Which plant produces small plants with both male sperm and female
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