Translated from Ecomare museum on Texel, the Netherlands today:
On a pine trunk near the rear entrance of Ecomare strange white lumps have appeared. They are slime molds, fungi of a special group that is entirely separate from the other groups of mushrooms. It is probably a false puffball. It is up to 20 cm. It begins as a whitish blob that looks a bit like whipped cream. The false puffball is the most common slime mold in the Netherlands looking like the Ecomare specimens, but that species had never been reported from Texel yet!
Walking slime mold
If they are young these slime molds can move around the tree! Then they will stay in one place and they will get a shiny white crust. Ultimately, the thing will become cocoa brown and the whole mold will dissolve into a powdery mass of spores. In spring, this slime mold species appears on dead tree trunks.
It is not yet sure if this really is a false puffball. There are different types of slime molds related to it. Only a specialist would be able to name them with the help of a microscope. To do so, Ecomare has asked for the assistance of the Dutch Mycological Society, the organization of mushroom connoisseurs.
How a slime mold near death packs bacteria to feed the next generation. Some social amoebas use proteins to preserve a food crop for their offspring: here.
The International Space Station, like all human habitats in space, has a nagging mold problem. Astronauts on the ISS spend hours every week cleaning the inside of the station’s walls to prevent mold from becoming a health problem. New research finds mold spores may also survive on the outside walls of spacecraft: here.
- FOR KIDS: A slime with memory (sciencenews.org)
- Slime Mold! (rebeccainthewoods.wordpress.com)
- Brainless Slime Mold May Point Toward Origin of Memory (bloomberg.com)
- Slime Mold “Remembers” with External Memory (neatorama.com)
- Organism without a brain creates external memories for navigation (arstechnica.com)
- Study shows slime molds have spatial memory (phys.org)
- Favourite mushroom poll (dearkitty1.wordpress.com)
- Slime Has Memory but No Brain (news.nationalgeographic.com)