“Slime molds.” Evocative, isn’t it? Besides having a deliciously terrifying name, I’d never really thought about slime molds until I came across scientific illustrator Angela Mele (who specializes in “fungi and other decomposers”) and her very interesting Kickstarter. The project? An illustrated field guide to slime molds; the yellow one above is known as “dog vomit slime mold.” So alien, so beautiful. According to Angela:
Neither plant nor animal, slime molds are members of the kingdom protista. Because they reproduce by spores, the were thought to be fungi until fairly recently. They eat bacteria (thus cleaning out and recycling ecosystems’ decaying matter), thrive on every continent – even in extreme environments like deserts and tundras- and include at least 900 different species of all shapes and colors. Because they’ve been around for perhaps hundreds of millions of years, they have evolved to be able to move, grow, find resources, and adapt to their environments incredibly efficiently, despite their lack of a brain or even a central nervous system.
So glad that this exists. Check out the Kickstarter for more info.