Ferg had always known Bunty to be smart but he had no idea she had an encyclodedic knowledge of fungi, their origins and importance to all life on earth! Her shyness meant she had always been slow to reveal things which are important to her. Ferg was captivated by her enthusiasm for all things fungal. Once she saw he was interested there was no stopping her. Safe within her comfort zone she relaxed and went into scientific detail that at times Ferg found difficult to understand. He had always admired Bunty but now he was getting to know her, he liked her more than ever. Bunty was as magical as the mushrooms she talked about and he wanted to remember everything she said. He took mental notes and once home wrote down some of his favourite fungi facts…
Without fungi there would be no life on earth.
About a billion and a half years ago when plant life and animals took divergent evolutionary paths, fungi took a third path! The third way! Making them distinct from plants and animals. A separate kingdom.
Fungi are more closely related to animals than they are to plants.
Fungi have chemicals in their cell walls shared with lobsters and crabs.
The largest living organism on earth is a fungus! The honey fungus, Armillaria ostoyae. One found in the Blue Mountains of Oregon covers over 2,384 acres or nearly 4 square miles (over 1600 footbal fields!)
There are over 100,000 known species of fungi but scientists believe there may be as many as 3.8 million.
There are over 200 species of hallucinogenic fungi.
Fungi can turn crop waste into bioethanol!
Fungi have been used to reclaim and make safe land contaminated by industry.
Some species are bioluminescent and can glow in the dark.
Mycorrhizal fungi allow trees to ‘talk’ to one another to warn of pests, drought and disease.
The Magic of Mushrooms – A wonderful hour long documentary made by Professor Richard Fortay HERE