On the roots of this fallen tree munches a giant slime mold complex. I believe it to be Physarum polycephalum, or the Many-headed Slime.
I first walked this trail only an hour earlier and saw it was the size of a tea cup….and in that hour’s time you can see how much it grew and spread out…till it was over 3 feet across!
An amazing structure, it sends out ‘arms’ to search for more food sources and once it discovers some it grows to encompass and consume it. If it DOESN’T, the arms retract and look for another direction.
Studies are continuously being done on this life-form and each new one draws my attention and fascination more and more.
Also found on fungi and mushrooms which it is NOT related to. At one time, slimes were categorized with fungi…with recent studies they have since been re-classed.
NE Kansas 7/30/08