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Word Count: 530
Fungi is neither a plant nor an animal They make up their very own kingdom Fungi has characteristics of animals and plants Like animals they eat other organisms for nutrition because they cant produce their own food but like plants some types of fungi let fate take its course and throw their spores out to float along and find a home People with allergies can certainly identify with that Although the kingdom has not been explored very thoroughly it has many amazing things in it Fungi is very diverse in size They can be microscopic or span up to 30 acres of land and there is an estimated 15 million fungi species on Earth to date Fungi has some different ways that it spreads itself around In some kinds it is ingested by any herbivore and it travels through the animals intestines passes through and then cultivates in the animals droppings Other kinds release spores that are then carried to the surface by termites A type of ant the leaf cutter eats fungi The female southern pine beetle has protected pouches in which she stores the fungi and as she tunnels through the bark of trees she releases the fungi which become the food that keeps the beetle larvae alive Fungus is both beneficial and harmful to the other kingdoms It causes athletes foot jock itch yeast infections and allergies in humans One type of fungi the Cordyceps myrmecophila imbeds itself in an ant and feeds off of its dying body Another kind the Arthrobotrys uses its filaments also called hyphae to snag wandering nematode worms on their travels through the ground On the other hand fungus and other species can work together It provides humans with very important medicines such as penicillin and most plants actually depend on it to supply minerals vital to their growth One kind of fungus can even decompose wood chips without the use of
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