To provide inspiration for the fungal inclined here is an overview of some classic and exotic mushrooms.
First some basics info:
Mushrooms are not an organism, they are merely the fruit of the organism, the rest of which lives underground. The underground portion is a network of root like structures that combined resemble a neural network. Mushrooms consist for about 90% of water and mammals are genetically closer to fungi then they are to plants.
The growth cycle begins with 'spores'. these are the 'seed' of the mushroom and are microscopically small:
you can only see them as they accumulate. in this picture dark purple spores have settled on some of the caps:
So these spores germinate and start forming the mycelium. once the network is big enough and the right conditions are met the mycelium will start forming little white balls called hyphal knots:
These will grow out to become pins:
that will in turn grow up to become mushrooms:
Spores are dropped from the gills of the mushroom, these exist underneath the cap:
If you look at the 2nd picture again you can see how the spores have landed on top of the caps. this is because the spores are extremely buoyant and evaporating moisture is creating up drafts that carry the spores all over the place.
Mushrooms can be found in all kinds of locales, but they are limited to what they eat. Some mushrooms feed on decomposing wood, others grow on the dung of animals and yet others grow in symbiosis with another organism, usually a tree. there are also a few parasitic species that will actually kill trees in order to eat them, and another one that actually infects insects and fruits right from their dead bodies:
Last Edit: Oct 18, 2015 20:45:58 GMT by daveyjones
With that out of the way lets look at some shrooms:
AKA the 'fly agaric'. perhaps the most iconic mushroom of all, this one is associated with early christianity and for those in the know is capable of enducing altered states of consciousness. for others though, the compounds in this mushroom can be quite toxic to the liver.
anyhoo this is one of the species that grows symbiotically on the roots of tall hardwood and pine trees. the mycelium of this mushroom will leech nutrients from the tree, but in turn it will turn all the debris in the area into compost, providing nutrition for the tree.
notice the 'skirt' underneath the cap and the white spots on top of it. look at this overview of the growth pattern:
See how the flecks and skirt are originally part of the same structure. this is called a 'universal veil'.
Notice the egg shaped structure at the bottom, this is called a 'volva'.
Amanita muscaria, green variety.
These mushrooms are hallucinogenic and traditionally associated with magic and witchcraft in many cultures. Aesthetically they are representative of the more common mushroom shape. they have a common trait that they turn blue when bruised.
Psilocybe cubensis grows on dung in subtropical and tropical environments.
Psilocybe semilanceata AKA Libtery Cap grows in grassland. named after the french Phrygian cap.
Psilocybe cyanescens AKA Wavy Cap grows on decomposing wood in colder areas.
Psilocybe azurescens grows similarly to cyanescens and is the strongest of the magic mushrooms.
Panaeolus cyanescens grows on dung in tropical and subtropical environments.
All in all the 'magic' mushrooms are amongst some of the most classicly shaped ones. Check out the blue bruising reaction in some of these mushrooms though:
These are some of the most common edible mushrooms around. they have a much funkier shape and come in a variety of colours:
Some other edible mushrooms
Trametes versicolor AKA Turkey Tail
Grifola frondosa AKA Hen of the Woods
Ganoderma lucidum AKA Reishi
Morchella AKA Morel mushrooms
Fomus fomentarius AKA Agaricon AKA Tinder mushroom. These are known to have been used by tribal people to transport fire. If you make a hole in it and put a hot ember in there it can last up to 3 days like that.
Hericium erinaceus AKA Lions Mane
Sparassis crispa AKA Cauliflower mushroom
Phallus indusiatus AKA Long Net Stinkhorn This one is known for an urban myth that smelling this foul smelling thing causes some women to orgasm spontaneously.
Panllus stipticus This is one of a few bioluminescant fungi that actually glow in the dark.
Last Edit: Oct 18, 2015 20:51:52 GMT by daveyjones
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