What is fungi?

Fungi are neither plants nor animals, and include mushrooms, toadstools, molds, and yeast. Fungi do not have chlorophyll (the green food-making compound found in plants), so they cannot make their own food. To survive, they release enzymes that break down living or dead plants, animals, or other fungi, and live off of their nutrients. All fungi reproduce by spores. In many mushrooms, spores are located on the underside of the mushroom cap and released from vertical plates or flaps called gills. The stinkhorn is a tall fungus that shoots up out of the ground, and produces a foul, stinking smell as it ripens. Its slimy body is covered with spores, and its foul smell attracts flies, which help deliver the stinkhorn's spores to new locations in the forest.


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