SPECIMEN: The largest organism on earth is not the blue whale; it is lichen or fungus. The largest known mycelium is almost 1,000 hectares is size.
SYMBIOSIS: Lichen is neither a plant nor an animal; it is a collection of organisms, whose life is based on the symbiotic relationship that exists between several different organisms: fungi, algae and, sometimes, cyanobacteria. Lichen can adapt to extreme conditions.
PROCESS: Lichen grows at a rate of a few tenths of a millimetre per year. Mycelia can be hundreds, even thousands of years old. The processes of these communities are slow, sometimes dramatic.