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Basidium

A basidium is a microscopic type of spore-producing cell found on certain fungi. Most often the basidia are elongated and club shaped. But there is variation in the shape. A basidium usually bears four sexual spores called basidiospores.

Bracket fungus

Bracket fungi, or shelf fungi, are among the many groups of fungi in the phylum Basidiomycota. They produce shelf- or bracket-shaped fruiting bodies called conks. These lie in a close group of horizontal rows. Brackets can range from only a singl ...

Candida

Candida is a genus or grouping of yeasts. Yeasts are a type of fungus. This group of fungi are the most common cause of fungus infections in the world. Most people have or are exposed to this group of fungus but are not sick. If a person is weak ...

Candida albicans

Candida albicans is a yeast which causes oral and genital infections in humans. The infection is candidiasis, better known as "thrush". It is treated with antimycotics. C. albicans biofilms readily form on the surface of medical devices. Hospital ...

Chytridiomycota

Chytridiomycota is a phylum of the Fungi kingdom. The name comes from chytridium: the structure containing unreleased spores. The chytrids are the most primitive of the fungi. Many chytrids are found in fresh water. There are approximately 1.000 ...

Coral fungi

Coral fungi or clavarioid fungi, are mushrooms that are usually shaped like coral, but can also be shaped like forks, worms or clubs. They are rubbery and at times are brightly coloured. Originally, such fungi were put in the genus Clavaria, and ...

Cordyceps

Cordyceps is a genus of ascomycete fungi with about 400 species. Most Cordyceps species are parasitoids. They live on and in insects and other arthropods. A few are parasitic on other fungi. The name Cordyceps is taken from the Greek word κορδύλη ...

Fungi imperfecti

The fungi imperfecti or imperfect fungi, also known as Deuteromycota, is a type of fungi. It is not a taxonomic category: they are linked only by their asexuality. The taxonomy of fungi is either based on morphological characteristics, or that of ...

Jack olantern mushroom

The jack olantern mushroom is an orange- to yellow gilled mushroom. It looks like the chanterelle and emits light. Unlike the chanterelle, the jack olantern mushroom is very poisonous. While eating this mushroom will not kill you, it may cause cr ...

Jelly fungus

Jelly fungi are a paraphyletic group of several fungal orders from different classes of the subphylum Agaricomycotina. The name comes from their form, or growth habit. Their fruiting body is foliose or irregularly branched. It looks like jelly. A ...

Lactarius torminosus

Lactarius torminosus, commonly known as the woolly milkcap or the bearded milkcap, is a mushroom in the genus Lactarius. It is a common and widely distributed fungus, found in North Africa, northern Asia, Northern Europe, and North America. L. to ...

Lycoperdon umbrinum

Lycoperdon umbrinum, better known as the umber-brown puffball, is a species of puffball mushroom in the genus Lycoperdon. The species is found in China, Europe, and North America.

Map lichen

The map lichen is a species of lichen, Rhizocarpon geographicum. It grows on rocks in areas of low air pollution. Each lichen is a flat patch bordered by a black line of spores. These patches grow next to each other. This makes the lichen look li ...

Mycelium

The mycelium is the part of a fungus that is usually underground. It is composed of hyphae, which look like threads, or rootlets. The mat of hyphae may be very thickly woven. The fungus uses it to extract nutritients. The hyphae are usually syncy ...

Myco-heterotrophy

Myco-heterotrophy is a relationship between certain plants and fungi. The plant gets all or part of its food from parasitism on fungi, not from photosynthesis. In the past, non-photosynthetic plants were thought to get food by breaking down organ ...

Mycology

Mycology is the study of fungi. This includes their genetics, their biochemical properties, their classification, their use to humans and their dangers. Fungi are a source of tinder, medicines, food, and entheogens. A biologist who studies mycolo ...

Mycorrhiza

A mycorrhiza is a symbiotic association between a fungus and the roots of a plant. In a mycorrhiza, the fungus lives inside the plant roots, and in the earth. The fungal hyphae are more efficient than plant roots at absorbing nutrients. Mycorrhiz ...

Neurospora

Neurospora is a genus of Ascomycete fungi. The best known species in this genus is Neurospora crassa, a common model organism in genetics and molecular biology. The first published account of this fungus was from an infestation of French bakeries ...

Palynology

Palynology is the study of very small natural particles. The word literally means the "study of dust". A palynologist is someone whose job is to identify what the particles are. Samples of particles can come from the air or water or soil or rocks ...

Penicillium

Penicillium is a genus of ascomycetous fungi of major importance in the natural environment as well as food and drug production. Members of the genus produce penicillin, a molecule that is used as an antibiotic, which kills or stops the growth of ...

Psychedelic mushroom

Magic mushrooms or psychedelic mushrooms or Psilocybin mushrooms contain the alkaloid psilocybin, or similar substances. Psilocybin is a mind-altering chemical. It changes the brain to an altered state of mind, or a different state of consciousne ...

Puffball

A puffball is the common name for a member of several groups of fungi in the division Basidiomycota. Puffballs include the genera of Calvatia, Calbovista and Lycoperdon. All false puffballs are inedible, as they are tough and bitter to taste. The ...

Spongiforma squarepantsii

Spongiforma squarepantsii is a species of fungus. It is in the Boletaceae family and the Spongiforma genus. It was first seen in Malaysia in 2011. It makes orange fruit bodies that have the odor of a fruit. The fruit bodies can grow to 10 cm wide ...

Sporangium

A sporangium is an enclosure in which spores are formed. It can be a single cell or multicellular. All plants, fungi, and many other lineages form sporangia at some point in their life cycle. Sporangia can produce asexual spores by mitosis, but i ...

Sporocarp (fungi)

In fungi, the sporocarp is a multicellular structure on which spore-producing structures, such as basidia or asci, are borne. The largest known fruiting body is the Fomitiporia ellipsoidea species, found on Hainan Island. The species can measure ...

Stinkhorn

The stinkhorns are a family of fungi, the Phallaceae. Belonging to the fungal order Phallales, the Phallaceae have a worldwide distribution, but are especially common in tropical regions. Their mushrooms are foul-smelling, sticky spore masses, or ...

Yeast

Yeast are microorganisms. They are single-celled fungi. There are about 1.500 different species of yeast. Most reproduce asexually, by budding. Some use binary fission to reproduce asexually. A particular species of yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisia ...

Zoospore

A zoospore is an asexual spore that uses a flagellum for moving around. It is also called a swarm spore. These spores are created by some algae and fungi to multiply themselves.

Zygomycota

Zygomycota, or zygote fungi, is a large group of 1600 species of fungi. Fungi are put into groups by the way they reproduce. The name Zygomycota comes from zygosporangia, where strong and tough round shaped spores are formed during sexual reprodu ...

Living fossil

Living fossil refers to life forms which have survived with little change for a long time, and which are still around today. Horseshoe crabs are a typical case of living fossil. They have changed little in appearance since the Ordovician period, ...

Arapaima

The arapaima, pirarucu, or paiche are several large species of bonytongue fish in the genus Arapaima. They are native to the Amazon and Essequibo basins of South America. These fish are widely dispersed and do not migrate. This makes scientists t ...

Araucaria

Araucaria is a genus of evergreen coniferous trees in the family Araucariaceae. There are 19 species in the genus, with a scattered distribution. They are found in New Caledonia, Norfolk Island, eastern Australia, New Guinea, Argentina, Chile, an ...

Coelacanth

A coelacanth is a type of fish in the Sarcopterygii, the lobe-finned fishes. They are a sister group to those fish which evolved into tetrapods. Their fossil record goes back 400 million years, before any land vertebrates had evolved. There are a ...

Crocodile

A crocodile is a large amphibious reptile. It lives mostly in large tropical rivers, where it is an ambush predator. One species, the Australian saltie, also travels in coastal salt water. In very dry climates, crocodiles may aestivate and sleep ...

Cycas

Cycas is a genus of plants. It is the only genus currently known in the Cycadaceae family. Over 100 species are known. Probably the best-known of these is marketed as Sago Palm or King Sago Palm. The plant is not a true palm, however. The generic ...

Echidna

Echidna, the spiny anteater, is a monotreme that lives in Australia and in New Guinea. They are the living members of the family Tachyglossidae. Echnidas have a long, tube-like mouth with a sticky tongue. They are also covered in spines. They hav ...

Ginkgo

The ginkgo is a genus of trees. There is only one living species, Ginkgo biloba. All the other known species are fossils. Ginkgo biloba is native to China. It is the National tree of China.

Horseshoe crab

The horseshoe crab or king crab is a benthic or bottom-dwelling creature. It is not a crab at all, but a relative of the arachnids. Its main habitats are coastal areas and river estuaries. Limulus polyphemus is the best-known of the four species.

Japanese spider crab

The Japanese spider crab is a species of marine crab, and is the only member in the genus Macrocheira. It is found only in the waters around Japan. The Japanese spider crab has the largest leg span of any arthropod in the world, reaching up to 3. ...

Lingula

Lingula is a genus of brachiopods in the class Lingulata. Lingula is known to have existed since the early Ordovician period. Lingula is a good example of a living fossil. Like all brachiopods, it is a filter feeder. Brachiopods are superficially ...

Monotreme

Monotremes are a group of mammals that form the order Monotremata. Monotremes are the only mammals that lay eggs, but they also feed their babies with milk. The word monotreme refers to their common rear opening, the cloaca. In amphibia, reptiles ...

Nautilus

Nautilus is the common name for cephalopods of the family Nautilidae. They are the only living members of the subclass Nautiloidea. In appearance, they have not changed much in millions of years. The term chambered nautilus is also used for any s ...

Notostraca

The order Notostraca has just two living genera in it. Triops and Lepidura. The two genera are considered living fossils, as they have not changed in outward form since the Triassic. Notostracans, or tadpole shrimps, are omnivores living on the b ...

Platypus

The duck-billed platypus is a small mammal. It is one of only two monotremes to survive today. It lives in eastern Australia. The plural of platypus is just platypus. The platypus lives in rivers and river banks. It is one of only two families of ...

Sciadopitys

Sciadopitys, the Japanese umbrella-pine, is a unique conifer. It is endemic to Japan, and the sole surviving member of the family Sciadopityaceae. It is a living fossil with no close relatives: its fossils date from 230 million years ago. It is a ...

Sturgeon

Sturgeons have been referred to as "living fossils" or "primitive fish" because their features have not changed very much since their earliest fossil record.

Tuatara

The Tuatara are reptiles which look like lizards. However, they are the only surviving member of an order of reptiles which flourished 200 million years ago. There is now only the genus Sphenodon, with two species of Tuatara. Both are endemic to ...

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