Walking down our driveway I observed something on the ground that looked like it had been left by a wallaby after a big night out (see picture left). After flicking through the books, I decided it looks like a slime mould.
Slime moulds fit into neither flora nor fungi categories. They have characteristics of both animals and fungi and exist as single-celled organisms that feed on other microorganisms living in dead plant material and fungi. However in times of stress, if the food supply is scarce or if the temperature is unsuitable, slime mould organisms cluster together to form a larger, visible ‘blob’. This mass can then move towards light or hunt for food. Slime moulds reproduce by producing spores. When mature, the spores are dispersed and new ‘amoebae’ are formed.
Along our road recently I noticed this orange slime mould (pictured right).
I have a great idea to use these to produce a B-grade horror movie. It will obviously have to be done in Technicolor. (Yawn.)