Chanterelles are mushroom-like fungi with funnel-shape caps. The delicious and fragrant golden chanterelle is a delicacy prized by gourmets. Chanterelles are characterized by the form of their spore-producing surface, which is smooth and viened.
Mushrooms are important to our environment as they help keep soil fertile for the growth of other plants. As mushrooms grow, they cause the decay of the materials from which they obtain food. This process releases important minerals into the soil. Plants use these minerals to grow and stay healthy.
Mushrooms are also an important source of food for insects and many small animals. Red squirrels collect mushrooms in the summer and let them dry on tree branches, then they store them for use as a winter food.
The term tooth-fungi covers a range of unrelated species all of which have spines or teeth on which spores are produced. Because of pollution, many of these are becoming rare.