Wicked cool time-lapse of slime molds and mushrooms growing.

Seeing something that’s normally too slow to witness is cool in itself, but seeing how sinister the slime molds look as they grow pushes this into wicked cool territory. Check it:

Found over at Boing Boing.

16 thoughts on “Wicked cool time-lapse of slime molds and mushrooms growing.

  1. Very cool!  I’m going to try to use it in my first bio class next week.  The wonders of science!

  2. Very cool, but at the same time, fungal fruiting bodies are possibly some of the most disgusting looking things found in nature in my opinion.  That and various arthropods like insects with their multiple stages.  I think it’s a toss up between larval insects and fungi in my book. OK, maybe some protozoans are a close third.

  3. Yes, very cool.  But what’s sinister about it?  The little guys are just trying to spread the joy of their existence over the whole world.

    Speaking of which, check out these cute mating leopard slugs.

  4. The little guys are just trying to spread the joy of their existence.

    You sir, have a very strange definition of joy! I see a bunch of wannabe plants pretending to pose as relatively harmless organisms while attempting to break down their environment to use to make more of themselves. Come on Fungi! Develop some freakin’ chlorophyll and stop digesting the landscape!

  5. I see a bunch of wannabe plants pretending to pose as relatively harmless organisms while attempting to break down their environment to use to make more of themselves.

    Now, now, BB.  Although most people don’t see themselves as “wannabe plants”, everything else you said applies to them as well as to fungi.  And aren’t they cute?  Admit it.

  6. Although most people don’t see themselves as “wannabe plants”, everything else you said applies to them as well as to fungi.

    Err…Damn you and your tricksy logic!  OK, I admit, maybe I’m being a bit too biased against fungi, but they skeeve me out.  All those fruiting bodies and creeping, unseen underground structures. And don’t even get me started on the insidious nature of mold spores. Why, just look at them! Those things aren’t cute, they are clearly plotting the breakdown of all organic life!

    However, I do love to eat mushrooms of various varieties, so maybe I can give them a pass.  I like bread too, so maybe I should not be too harsh. And I have been saved from Streptococcal pharyngitis several times in my youth by timely application of cillins of the penne and amoxi varieties.  Hmmm…maybe you are right…OK, I guess judging an organism on it’s appearance isn’t really right.  However, you will not convince me that larval houseflies are anything but utterly disgusting.  The adults aren’t too nice either. I won’t even get started on all the higher order stuff that lives unseen inside other animals, feeding off their vital fluids…that stuff keeps me up at night (not literally though, I have been parasite free since 1998!).

  7. It just struck me- actually, the highest aspiration of many people is to be couch potatoes, so they are wannabe plants after all!

    What you said about fungi- exactly.  Not to mention all the stuff that would be cluttering up the landscape if there were no fungi and bacteria to break it down: dinosaur carcasses, dead whales and redwoods, etc.

    I’m not wild about maggots, either (although “maggoty haggis” has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?).  And I’m glad to hear you are parasite free.  But is anyone ever really parasite-free?  What about those eyelash mites that just about everyone supposedly has, that live off the fat excreted by hair glands?  The line between “parasites” and “commensals” is blurry.

    Speaking of commensals- as you probably know, we have lots of them: supposedly, the
    commensals in our body outnumber our own cells, and I just heard somewhere that their total weight in a person is around two pounds.  Ah, sweet love!

  8. Don’t those eyelash mites actually cause the eyelashes to become tubes by which air reaches the cornea during sleep? I think my optometrist told me that once, but he might have been trying to pull a fast one.  Maybe not though, he was yelling at me for sleeping with my contacts in, which caused some trouble with my irises apparently growing new capillaries in an attempt to gain oxygen. It can supposedly get quite disturbing looking if you let the condition go to far (think permanent bloodshot eyes).

  9. Everything you didn’t really want to know about eyelash mites courtesy of Wikipedia. A sampling:

    Demodex folliculorum and Demodex brevis are typically found on humans. It’s extremely rare to see a human infected with a different species of mite, such as “Demodex Canis”. Though a few instances have occurred. D. folliculorum was first described in 1842 by Simon; D. brevis was identified as separate in 1963 by Akbulatova. D. folliculorum is found in hair follicles, while D. brevis lives in sebaceous glands connected to hair follicles. Both species are primarily found in the face, near the nose, the eyelashes and eyebrows, but can also occur elsewhere on the body on rare occasions.

    The adult mites are only between 0.3 mm and 0.4 mm long, with D. brevis slighly shorter than D. folliculorum.[1] They have a semi-transparent elongated body that consists of two fused segments. Eight short segmented legs are attached to the first body segment. The body is covered with scales for anchoring itself in the hair follicle, and the mite has pin-like mouth-parts for eating skin-cells, hormones and oils (sebum) which accumulate in the hair follicles. The mite’s digestive system is so efficient and results in so little waste that there is no excretory orifice. The mites can leave the hair follicles and slowly walk around on the skin, at a speed of about 8–16 cm/hour, especially at night; they try to avoid light.[1]

    Female Demodex folliculorum are somewhat shorter and rounder than males. The total lifespan of a Demodex mite is several weeks. Both male and female Demodex mites have a genital opening, and fertilization is internal.[2] Mating takes place in the follicle opening, and eggs are laid inside the hair follicles or sebaceous glands. The six-legged larvae hatch after 3-4 days, and it takes about seven days for the larvae to develop into adults. The dead mites decompose inside the hair follicles or sebaceous glands.

    Older people are much more likely to carry the mites; estimates range as high as an 96-98% infestation rate in aged people. The lower rate of children may be due to the fact that children produce much less sebum. It is quite easy to look for one’s own demodex mites, by carefully removing an eyelash or eyebrow hair and placing it under a microscope.

    Yeah, that was more than I needed to know.

  10. Yeah, that was more than I needed to know.

    Ah shit, time to go pour Drano in my eyes…

  11. If I pour Drano in my eyes, I think you’ll get a hell of a show with or without the micro lenses, so your choice.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.