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@substack

2 slugs deposited into the slug jar tonight, both in the area near our kitchen. It's been raining all day.

@mix

are these the evil disease harbinger-type slugs?

Are you pickling slugs or euthenising them? (or both)

@substack

The slugs go in a jar with salt because 80% of slugs harbor angiostrongylus cantenosis nematodes (rat lungworm).

@mix

poor nematodes ... I hear some of them are really important for vibrant soil ecology. (basing my science on Kim Stanely Robinson's Mars Trilogy terraforming...)

@substack

These nematodes burrow through your intestines into your blood stream and then hang out in your brain until they die. There are other kinds of nematodes that attack the root structures of plants and cause them to wilt and die.

@mix

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nematode#Soil_ecosystems

Nematodes can effectively regulate bacterial population and community composition — they may eat up to 5,000 bacteria per minute. Also, nematodes can play an important role in the nitrogen cycle by way of nitrogen mineralization.

One group of carnivorous fungi, the nematophagous fungi, are predators of soil nematodes. They set enticements for the nematodes in the form of lassos or adhesive structures.

Sounds like a job for some #myco ?

@mycognosist

Origin and evolution of carnivorism in the Ascomycota

I just read this paper last night and it's super fascinating! The authors were trying to figure out a) when carnivorous fungi diverged, and b) if major developments in the evolution of carnivorism in fungi show a causal relationship with major extinction events. A brief summary:

Carnivorism is one of the basic life strategies of fungi. Carnivorous fungi possess the ability to trap and digest their prey by using sophisticated trapping devices - both active (snares) and passive (sticky pads). Molecular clock calibration based on two fossil records revealed that fungal carnivorism diverged from saprophytism about 419 Mya, which was after the origin of nematodes about 550–600 Mya. That means fungi have been hunting animals for approximately 420 million years!

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