Don't Poke at Strange Things
"Clathrus crispus appears with some frequency in Florida and along the Gulf Coast, to judge from e-mails I receive. It is an outlandish and exotic looking stinkhorn reminiscent of an orange "Wiffle football"--except for the God-awful stench that results from the slimy brown goo that covers the inside of the lattice. The method stinkhorns use to disperse spores is quite ingenious, though a little disgusting to human sensibilities. The foul-smelling slime is calculated to attract flies and other insects, who land on the slime and gobble it up. Little do the insects know that they have been duped into covering their little insect feet with stinkhorn spores, and have ingested spores into their digestive tracts! Later, these spores are dispersed by the unwitting insects, and the stinkhorn life-cycle continues elsewhere."
There you go, dead rat found, and another great reason to move to Florida.