About microscopic forms of life, including Bacteria, Archea, protozoans, algae and fungi. Topics relating to viruses, viroids and prions also belong here.
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This site will give you a good beginning. But maybe you could some research by yourself before asking some question? It's not as if it was extyremely specialized or overly complicated to find.
Science has proof without any certainty. Creationists have certainty without
any proof. (Ashley Montague)
Canalons link is a good reference and if you really want to know more about them and how you can even grow them yourself, get the book; "Myxomycetes, A Handbook of Slime Molds" by Steven L. Stephenson and Henry Stempen
Don't let the name "Slime Molds" scare you off either. They are extremely small and very beautiful. A good 10X Hastings Triplet hand lens will give you good service in studying them or a good inexpensive stereomicroscope would be very good also. You would be surprised to find out how little is known about them. Even the amateur mycologist can make a significant contribution to the study of them at this time. A great research project for a science fair or paper.
Here is what they look like at a magnification of 30X through a Meiji Stereomicroscope. Myxomycete; Hemitrichia calyculata
plasmodial slime molds are awesome. look under a couple of rocks or logs and you can find some specimens. They're easy to grow. Get a petri dish or the equivalent, and a sterile moist towelette. Then just get some sterile oats, or a similar food source, put them in, along with your plasmodium samples and bam (assuming minimal cross contamination) you've got a culture. You should actually be able to see the plasmodium extend out and envelope the food.
Here in the United States, Western North Carolina to be exact, spring is just around the corner and with it is coming much warmer weather to our mountains. As the days warm and the spring rains begin, the forest floor will awaken from its winter sleep and begin to come alive with numerous forms of life. Myxomycetes are but one of the things to explore in the coming days of spring. You can look for them on decaying wood and leaves on the forest floor. Sometimes they can be found on old rotting stumps from where large trees have broken off and fallen and on the fallen trees themselves as they begin to decay.
You have to look close for the fruiting bodies of Myxomycetes. They do not just jump out at you like wildflowers but they are just as beautiful. You are looking for a tiny little fungi anywhere in the range of 3 to 10mm in size. They resemble tiny ballons on stems for the most part or they may appear as a small brushy looking object. They are quite delicate so you must handle them with care if you are going to collect them and bring them home for study or to keep.
These little fungi are amazing in that they start out their lives as an amoeba or an ameobo-flagellate I should say. The amoeba is contained within the spores being held in the fruiting bodies of the fungi. If there is enough water or heavy moisture present, these amoeba will be released from the spores to move about at will. As they move about they will find other amoeba of the same species and they will fuse together to form what you could call a giant amoeba or more technically speaking a "plasmodium." These plasmodium are quite large, they are multinucleate due to the large number of amoebo-flagellates that make up the protoplasmic mass and they are easily recognized, as I show in the image below of a "plasmodium" collected in a plastic petri dish.
When the plasmodium has exhausted its food supply, mostly bacteria found on the decaying matter on which it resides, there will be a protoplasmic up-heaval and the tiny fruiting bodies will begin to appear. How this change goes about I am unsure but it is a wonderful thing to see and to find as our weather warms. Myxomycetes can be found from late spring to early fall in the temperate zones of our world. There are still many more to be discovered and tons of research to be done on them.
Please click on images for a larger view!
Try Google. Search for Myxomycetes, Plasmodial Slime Molds, Myxomycota, etc. You should find enough information on these marvelous creatures for several reports or go to http://www.scirus.com and search myxomycetes!
hmm... if you need to do a report ... you kinda need to look up info for yourself. I'm sure you're teacher woudln't accept the URL of the website as a ... REFERENCE
...LOL (I only WISH that I could use an internet URL as a reference source... ahhhh that would make life waaaay tooo easy!)
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