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These are fungi which stick out as a shelf from the lower portion of dead tree trunks (especially elms) near the base. It helps to decompose the tree because it can digest lignin. It is described as a "Dryad's saddle". In Greek mythology a Dryad is a tree dwelling nymph or tree sprite which needs to be propitiated before a tree is taken or trouble follows. (Wickepedia)
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