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
I’ve learned a lot about fungi today. Please pass on my thanks and appreciation to Bunty. Also to Ferg for taking such excellent notes and making them available to us.
🙏Thank you so much for your comments and I will pass them on to Bunty and Ferg.
Fungi 🍄really are fascinating and following Bunty’s recommendation I have watched the Magic of Mushrooms Documentary a few times over the years since it was first screened on the BBC. It’s a brilliant documentary and Richard Fortay has great enthusiasm and passion for the subject. There is some wonderful photography and not only is it a joy to watch you also come out the other end a little more knowledgeable! The link is at the foot of this blog post and if it doesn’t work I’m sure if you Google ‘The Magic of Mushrooms Richard Fortay’ you’ll find it available to view on YouTube, iPlayer or some other streaming service. It also pops up on BBC4 and BBC2 from time to time. There is a sequence in the documentary showing a fungi lassoing a nematode worm!!! Fascinating stuff…
Best wishes 💫✨📷✨💫