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BiologyFungi are neither plants nor animals but belong to their own kingdom. They are unable to produce their own food through the process of photosynthesis, as plants do; instead, they acquire nutrients from living or dead plants, animals, or other fungi, as animals do. In many larger fungi (except lichens) the only visible parts are the fruit bodies, which arise from a largely unseen network of threads called 'hyphae'. These hyphae permeate the fungus's food source, which may be soil, leaf litter, rotten wood, dung, and so on, depending on the species, and take up nutrients (3). The inedible fruit bodies of artist's fungus are found throughout the year (5). They grow alone or in overlapping groups on the trunk of the host tree (3). This parasitic fungus causes a white rot in host timber and eventually kills living trees (3).