Fungi are eukaryotic organisms, like plants and animals. Unlike plants, they don’t perform photosynthesis and they have chitin in their cell walls. Like animals, fungi are heterotrophs, which means they get their nutrients by absorbing them. Although most people think the difference between animals and fungi is that fungi are immobile, some fungi are motile. The real difference is that fungi contain a molecule called beta glucan in their cell walls. While all fungi share some common characteristics, they can be broken into groups. However, scientists who study fungi (mycologists) disagree on the best taxonomic structure. A simple layman’s classification is to divide them into mushrooms, yeast, and molds. Scientists tend to recognize seven subkingdoms or phyla of fungi. In the past, fungi were classified according to their physiology, shape, and color. Modern systems rely on molecular genetics and reproductive strategies to group them. Keep in mind, the following phyla aren’t set in stone. Mycologists even disagree about the names of species!