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Halloween Special! 7 Creepy Critters In Your Local Park (Slideshow)

Halloween Special! 7 Creepy Critters In Your Local Park (Slideshow)
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As we are learning with Superstorm Sandy, Mother Nature does not always rock us gently in her arms. Nature can be beautiful and soothing, and it can also be terrifying and destructive.

That’s true of our local parks too: they may be places of wonder, but they also contain some insects that frankly gross me out. So, just in time for Halloween, here are seven of the creepiest living organisms in the park.

1.  “Dog Vomit” Slime Mold
Let’s start with a truly disgusting sight. The scientific name for this is “Fuligo septic,” but doesn’t “dog vomit” describe it better? You know if you’ve ever seen this bright yellow slime mold, most likely in mulched areas, or on compost piles. Yes, it looks like a fungus, but it is actually a slime mold, an aggregation of cells all stuck together like one big blob. And in case you’re not grossed out enough yet, you should know that this “plasmodium” can move, like a giant amoeba, in the direction of nutrients.

First Photo: thinkstock; second photo: ~Squil~

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56 comments

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4:06PM PST on Feb 23, 2013

Cool!

1:06AM PST on Dec 23, 2012

Thank you for sharing.

3:27PM PST on Dec 22, 2012

Wow.

9:12AM PST on Dec 22, 2012

Thank you for sharing.

6:30AM PST on Nov 12, 2012

interesting article, thanks for sharing :)

7:42PM PST on Nov 4, 2012

Nothing worse that stepping on a cockroach with a bare foot in the dark. That's a feeling you'll have foreverr!

11:44AM PDT on Nov 2, 2012

I had the opportunity to handle snakes and tarantulas as a child at the Lawrence Hall of Science in Berkeley, and so lost my fear of them while of course retaining the knowledge of what is poisonous. However, having lived in roach-riddled apartments in Chicago, I will never forget the horror of dealing with those vile creatures dancing on my kitchen counter. A lot of the insects I now encounter in my garden that might have previously grossed me out I now recognize as special treats for my chickens: worms, earwigs, grasshoppers - dried meal worms are known as "chicken crack".

6:06AM PDT on Nov 2, 2012

Ron B. i agree with you...

12:12AM PDT on Nov 2, 2012

am generally afraid of insects, so i try to minimise encounters with them outdoors and prevent them from coming indoors!

8:44PM PDT on Nov 1, 2012

Leaning no. They all have their place which hopefully is always outdoors.

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