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Duration:03:49
Uploaded:2018-05-31
Last sync:2018-05-31 17:10
Squeaks and I were just deciding what to have for lunch, and we’re thinking: pizza!

You’ve probably heard of the topping I want on mine, but it’s a little out of the ordinary. I’ll give you a hint: it has lots of vitamins and minerals.

But it’s not a plant, so it’s not broccoli or peppers or olives, though I do love all of those vegetables! And it doesn’t come from an animal, so it’s not sausage or pepperoni, though I do like those, too! Can you guess what I’m thinking of? [Squeaks].

I’m going to have some mushrooms! That’s right — mushrooms aren’t plants, and they aren’t animals, either. [Squeaks]. Mushrooms are a type of fungus!

Fungi are a whole separate kind of living thing — not plants, and not animals. Some of them look a lot like the mushrooms I’ll be having on my pizza. But others are much weirder!

There’s black witches’ butter, which is a type of fungus called a jelly fungus. I bet you can guess why — it looks a lot like dark, thick jelly! Then there’s the brain mushroom, which looks a lot like … well, a brain.

There are even mushrooms that glow in the dark! Fungi might seem like plants from the outside, because many of them grow from the ground. But scientists have made some pretty cool discoveries about fungi that make them different from plants!

For example, one thing that makes plants special is that they make their own food out of sunlight. That’s how all plants eat, but fungi can’t do it! Instead, they have to get their food from other living things, just like us animals.

That’s also why you might see mushrooms growing in dark places – they don’t need the sunlight! But plants won’t grow in the dark. Also, get this, when you look at a fungus really close up, you can tell that they’re actually made of some of the same stuff as animals, not plants!

But remember, fungi aren’t animals, either. For one thing, even though fungi have to seek out their food since they can’t make it themselves like plants do, they can’t run or walk or even fly to get it like animals. Fungi actually grow right on top of their own food.

Mushrooms, for example, eat dead plants, which is why they often grow on trees or the forest floor. As fungi get bigger, they’re able to absorb, or soak up, more and more food. They’re pretty special that way.

When animals like you and me break down our food and turn it into energy, we do it inside our bodies. Our stomachs add special stomach juices to the food in our bodies to break it down more easily. Fungi digest food in a totally different way!

They add stomach juices to their food, too, but they spread it right on what they’re eating, so the food gets broken down outside of their bodies, not on the inside! Then, after the food is broken down, the fungi just soak up what’s left over. [Squeaks thinks this is cool]. I agree — fungi are pretty awesome!

Especially mushrooms. But even though a lot of mushrooms are good for you, like the ones on pizza, we definitely don’t want to go picking mushrooms ourselves. That’s because there are sooooo many different types of mushrooms in the world, and some of them could make you really sick if you eat them.

They can give people a stomach ache, or make them feel like throwing up, or much worse! And some of the mushrooms that are bad for you actually look a lot like mushrooms that are good for you! So we leave the mushroom-growing to the experts and don’t pick them ourselves.

Now, I think it’s about time we go get some pizza! Thanks for joining us! If you want to keep learning and having fun with Squeaks and me, hit the subscribe button, and don’t forget to check us out on the YouTube Kids app.

We’ll see you next time, here at the Fort!