The fruit-body before it ruptures may reach the size of a hen's egg and is white in colour; from this there grows out a hollow cylindrical structure which can be distinguished at the distance of several yards by its disgusting odour.
On the maturation of the oospheres the outer layer of the oogonial wall ruptures, and the oospheres, still surrounded by a middle and inner layer, pass out through the mouth of the conceptacle.
About the eighth hour after commencement of development the membrane ruptures and the oval embryo escapes, swimming by means of its flagella at the surface of the sea for another twenty-four hours, during which the principal organs are laid down, although the mouth does not open until the close of this period.
In germination the coleorhiza lengthens, ruptures the pericarp, and fixes the grain to the ground by developing numerous hairs.
The Lower Chalk formation is for the most part impermeable, though it contains many ruptures and dislocations or smashes, in the interstices of which large bodies of water, received from the Upper and Middle Chalk, may be naturally stored, or which may merely form passages for water derived from the Upper Chalk.