4
$\begingroup$

Slime molds are a fairly well-known grouping of organisms, performing a valuable function as real-life detritivores and bacterivores, as well as inspiring fantasy tropes such as oozes. Many slime molds will generate fruiting bodies, as well, in order to distribute their spores (think mushroom), and in a few cases, smaller animals (such as slugs) eat them. Under what conditions on an Earth-clone could a slime mold which had some human-edible parts evolve? It doesn't have to be the entire mold as that'd be hard to gather, but am I correct that a slime mold could produce a fruiting body you or I could pick and eat?

$\endgroup$
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ basically a land jellyfish? It could perfectly evolve but it would be eaten to extinction in a short time. $\endgroup$ – Charon Aug 14 '16 at 20:36
  • $\begingroup$ @渡し守シャロン -- then how did edible mushrooms not get eaten to extinction in the wild? $\endgroup$ – Shalvenay Aug 14 '16 at 20:38
  • $\begingroup$ The main spore is hidden underground, the outer mushroom is just a ''limb'' or ''branch'' $\endgroup$ – Charon Aug 14 '16 at 20:46
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ You could justifiably invert the question to ask, "Under what circumstances could humans evolve to metabolize slime mould?" It isn't the slime mould's responsibility to evolve to be edible, you know $\endgroup$ – nzaman Aug 15 '16 at 7:06
4
$\begingroup$

Under our conditions

So it seems that indeed, some of them produce a fruiting body you or I could pick and eat.

Of course, stronger references would be nice, but I couldn't find any.

$\endgroup$
1
$\begingroup$

There is algae that is healthy to eat and alive, maybe this algea binds together in clumps and moves the mass as a unit. They could have spun off a new evolutionary branch in order to migrate between water sources in a highly aquatic environment, but the water separated by thin strips of land.

Or, they could also be eggs of some creature that move around in their eggs like spiders do. Moving somewhat random, but moving nonetheless.

$\endgroup$

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.