Not an animal...but it moves, communicates, & possibly even learns! The endlessly fascinating slime mold! This specimen of Plasmodial slime mold (Physarum) suddenly appeared inside my glass of water that was sitting on the counter in my apartment (germinating some plant seeds inside). The spores must have blown in the wind and into my apartment when I had the window open (which means I probably inhaled a few too!). These organisms can live freely as single-celled amoeboid protists, but can swarm together and fuse their cytoplasm to form a huge multicellular network, as pictured here. It pulsates and shares information in response to stimuli, such as "Where's the food? Oh, you tasted it first on the left? Ok, let's all flow in that direction!".
Today, learned that this flowering plant is actually a #parasite ! This teeny tiny flower is only about 5 millimeters wide! Gymnosiphon suaveolens is a tiny, slender, leafless plant without chlorophyll that is a parasite on mycorrhizal #fungi . It can remain underground for many years, emerging only when the conditions are right to flower and fruit. Found at the #HARCC @frogrescue site in Cusuco National Park, Honduras. Thanks to @challenguate for the ID!
I'm joining the group of #scientistswhoselfie to show how #Instagram is a helpful tool, not only for science communication, but also to improve public perception of scientists as approachable and friendly people.
My name is Jonathan and for the past 10 years, I've been studying the spread of amphibian chytrid fungus & the global frog extinction crisis. I recently completed my PhD at @JCU in Australia and I'm now building a #HARCC frog rescue center in Honduras (@frogrescue) to save endangered frogs from extinction caused by disease. I'm also a @natgeo explorer and in my day job, I work with @usfws as a wildlife trade & conservation policy specialist. I think it's easy for people to lose their connection to nature in today's fast-paced world and forget why it's so important to protect biodiversity. That's why I try to be active on social media and share my love and passion for research, conservation, and exploration. I hope that my photos and tidbits of info can help inspire at least one more person each day to appreciate nature!
Don't forget to follow the fantastic researchers running the @scientistselfies study to see their updates & follow this important work: @scicommnerd @the_brain_scientist @biologistimogene @science.sam .