5
$\begingroup$

Something I'm working on- originally I intended for this particular species to build cities up in the treetops of massive forests, but that's been done before. So I considered maybe they built their villages on mushroom caps the width of islands on Earth.

Would the fungal growths be too soft to support such villages? Could they even grow large enough to be built on (these particular aliens have a humanoid frame but are somewhat larger than humans, most adults probably stand 7<->10 feet in height. Also individual tribes/villages tend to have a population slightly more than a hundred beings)?

$\endgroup$
2
  • $\begingroup$ You might want to add on top of to your question, I thought this was about people eating nothing but fungi. $\endgroup$ – Xandar The Zenon Mar 6 '16 at 2:57
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ If we're talking about alien mushrooms (xenobiology tag), then the answer is whatever you want it to be. If the alien mushrooms are big enough and permanent enough, then yes. $\endgroup$ – Monty Wild Mar 8 '16 at 1:04
6
$\begingroup$

Besides fungi having a short lifespan, they simply cannot be thick enough to support cities.

Or, more precisely, they cannot have the volume:surface area ratio necessary for that. They lack the complex vascular structures of animals and many (but not all) plants that allow us to grow thick.

Without those structures, an organism can only get so thick before some cells are too far from the surface to adequately take nutrients in and excrete waste.

$\endgroup$
2
$\begingroup$

The mushroom caps are the fruiting bodies of certain types of fungi. Most of the fungus is underground. By their very nature the mushroom caps are short-lived, so they would be a very poor foundation even for a temporary settlement.

Of course this applies to Earth-like fungi only. If what you want is for your species to live on top of mushroom-like structures, you can simply imagine a different life cycle for the "fungi" in question and make the fruiting bodies permanent, or at least permanently firm. Or you could postulate that the aliens have found a way to keep the mushroom caps from going soft and crumbly after they mature.

$\endgroup$
1
$\begingroup$

Fungi tend to have a short period when they're fairly firm then go soft very quickly. If you muck around with the fungal life cycle you could manage it but on earth the useful period would be too short for any practical purposes.

$\endgroup$

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.