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Slime mould fruiting bodies, SEM

Slime mould fruiting bodies, SEM

B250/1053

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Credit

EYE OF SCIENCE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY EYE OF SCIENCE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Slime mould fruiting body. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of the fruiting body (sporangium) of the slime mould Badhamia utricularis. The delicate outer wall (peridium, white) of the sporangium has burst, releasing spores (small orange spheres). The spores are associated with a mass of threads (the capillitium, thin white strands), which in this species contain calcium oxide. Changes in the moisture content of the air cause these threads to change shape, flicking spores into the air and helping them disperse. Slime moulds are not fungi, but a separate group with complex life cycles. Magnification: x150 at 6x6cm size.

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