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Kingdom Fungi - Kingdoms Slideshow

Examples of species from the fungus kingdom

Fungi species were once classified as plants. Scientists quickly looked at fungus species and noticed that they didn't use photosynthesis to generate their own energy. They are heterotrophs (organisms that eat other organic objects for energy). As time has passed, evidence has shown fungi species to be even more like animals than plants. Fungi are all about decomposition. Mushrooms break down rotting trees in forests. Mold breaks down food as it gets older.

Most people think of mushrooms when they think of fungi. Mushrooms are only one type of fungus. Organisms such as bread mold, yeasts, and athlete's foot are all forms of fungi. While called molds, slime and water molds were reclassified as protists.

The image above shows a mushroom, filamentous fungus found on plants, and a mold you might find on a rotting orange. Did you know that penicillin is based on a form of fungus? Penicillium chrysogenum mold is able to kill reproducing gram-positive bacteria.

Image Credit: Andrew Rader Studios

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