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Biology

Fungi are neither plants nor animals but belong to their own kingdom. Unable to produce their own food through the process of photosynthesis as plants do, they acquire nutrients from living or dead plants, animals, or other fungi, by breaking down tissues and absorbing them. In many larger fungi (except lichens) the only visible parts are the fruit bodies, which arise from a largely unseen network of threads called 'hyphae'. These hyphae permeate the fungus' food source, which may be soil, leaf litter, rotten wood, dung, and so on, depending on the species, and take up nutrients (4). Earthstars are found from June to mid-September, during which the fruit body produces spores for reproduction (3).

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