Have you ever eaten a mushroom?
If so, you’ve tasted a fungus (FUN-guhs)—a life-form that’s neither an animal nor a plant. Mushrooms, mold, and yeast are some of the most famous types of fungi (FUN-geye or FUN-jeye). But there are hundreds of thousands of species. Some fungi are made of a single microscopic cell. Others are tangled masses as big as whole towns!
Fungi may look like plants, but they are actually more closely related to animals, explains Sydney Glassman. She’s an ecologist who studies fungi at the University of California, Riverside. For instance, fungi don’t make their own food the way plants do. Like animals, they get food from their environment. Read on to learn how five of these unusual organisms survive.