I found this is the back yard early in the morning after rain the previous day. I guessed it was some type of fungus, turns out to be a species of plasmodial slime mold called Fuligo septica, commonly known as scrambled egg slime or dogs vomit slime mold!
It really was odd looking, bright yellow, soft and spongy to the touch and underneath it’s really slimy, like a slugs belly.
Slime molds are bizarre and fascinating things, they were initially classified as a type of fungus but this was found to be incorrect. They are now thought of as sitting under the Amoebozoa taxonomic group, a sister group of fungi and animals.
Slime moulds often exist as single cells, but in times of food scarcity they clump together to become a visible gelatinous mass. In this form they can move about as one and are even seen to change shape and function as well as exhibit sensitivities to environmental hazards and food sources. One scientist John Tyler Bonner, observed that they are “no more than a bag of amoebae encased in a thin slime sheath, yet they manage to have various behaviours that are equal to those of animals who possess muscles and nerves with ganglia – that is, simple brains.”
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