Tryggvi Emilsson emilsson at ARIES.SCS.UIUC.EDU
Thu Feb 27 00:06:31 EST 1997

On 26 Feb 1997, Eric Grunden wrote:

> Denser, yes. Thicker,.... I don't think so. The fruiting body 
                    ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ 

Fungal mycelium is mostly liquid filled tubes a few microns in diameter
with chitin walls that are a few tenths of a micron thick,or less.If you
remove all water soluble proteins and sugars you don't have a whole lot
left. Even if the chitin cell wall were embedded in sediment and
fossilized, you'd have a hard time finding it, since most of the sediment
is made of particles of several microns.(pure clays are smaller,but they
seldom harbor fungi)

> and mycellium of a fungus is layered with chitin throughout, while 
> only the thin exoskeleton of an insect has chitin. The internal organs 
How thick is a fly's wing? 5 microns?   A beetle's shell? 100 microns or
more.  That is a lot more than than the 0.1-0.2 micron of a hyphal wall.  

> are not chitin are they? Perhaps this is part of the answer, I
> don't know. I just don't understand why, when you step on an
> insect it goes "crunch" and a fungus goes "squish" when they are
> both basically chitnous ;> 

Well, a Kleenex and a 2x4 are both made of cellulose...
> --
> 			*******************
> The Spirit of Nature, a powerful force,
> 	belongs and returns to its creative source.
> - Excerpted from The Collective Works of Johnny Pokerface -

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