Fantastic Fungi: The Largest Living Network on Earth
There’s a fungus amongus! Nothing truer has been said, when it comes to understanding the nature of living things on Earth. In fact, it’s not too much to claim that fungus—or fungi, to be precise—literally supports life on our planet. Every living thing is connected through the network spread by fungi, which are the oldest and most extensive organisms on earth—neither plants nor animals, but surely the most under-appreciated kingdom in the natural world. Arpita Dutta and Annie Van Dinther share everything you never knew you wanted to know about fungi—but you will, because they’re fascinating! Just a sampler of what we’ll learn about: Fungi drove evolution on land, eating rocks that created soil that would nurture plants. Huge fungi more than 20 feet high existed before trees. Plants communicate through fungi networks. Fungi break down and digest tissue like nothing else can. Penicillium is a fungus that marked a turning point in medical history. Humans and animals alike consume fungus, with beneficial health effects, though fungus can also destroy. Find out how you interact with fungus in your daily life, and how fungus is the ultimate bond between us all.
Originally presented November 4, 2021
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