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On the forest floor, there is another forest – a much smaller, colorful, quaint one. It is made up of slime molds, eukaryotic organisms that thrive on dead wood. They are real shape-shifters: cellular slime molds start their lives as amoeba-like individual cells and enjoy solitude until the resources get scarce. Then they aggregate and act as a single unit. Cells that form the stalk dry up and eventually die. The cells atop the stalk form a little sac filled with spores that turn into new slime molds once they are disseminated in a moist environment.

Depicted above: Lamproderma (round space fungi), Neanuridae (blue creature on lower left)

Length of Lamproderma Echinulatum: ca 2mm