The Header Image

This is the wasp nest slime mold, Metatrichia vesparium, as captured by photographer Kim Fleming in Abbeville County, South Carolina. The image was retrieved from flickr and used on this site with her permission. Slime molds are social amoebae that exist as solitary cells before mating/fusing into a collective called a plasmodium. After wandering the earth like Cain terrorizing innocent bacteria, they rise up into fantastically beautiful fruiting bodies where they produce spores that seed the wind with little amoebae-to-be. The Artful Amoeba is a reference both to their clever, astounding behavior and beautiful forms. Oh, and one other thing. In spite of their name, slime molds are NOT molds. They’re aliens.

Just kidding. They’re protists. We think.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

pete December 22, 2009 at 2:23 pm

Quite the site! Very nice to meet you earlier today. I hope you have a great holiday with your family.
Safe travels,
Pete

stark December 27, 2009 at 10:08 pm

you’ve read Philip K. Dick’s Clans of the Alphane Moon, right? It’s the only book I know of with a sentient slime mold character named Lord Running Clam

Jennifer Frazer December 30, 2009 at 9:18 pm

Hi stark . . . no, I sadly haven’t read Clans of the Alphane Moon, but I’ll put it on the list. There’s also a deleted scene from Spinal Tap in which David St. Hubbins rambles on about slime molds and their lurking powers of world domination (alluded to in the amoeba diagram on the right side of my blog). From Spinal Tap A to Zed: “Slime molds: During an interview scene that DiBergi cut from his documentary, David explains that if slime molds ever decide if they’re animal or plant, the human race will be in trouble. ‘They could take us over like that.’”

daisugi April 26, 2011 at 5:38 am

nice shot and great blog.. i love it

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