Creature Feature: Lace Lichen

You may be thinking…wait, that green stringy stuff is a creature? Yes! Lichens are a fascinating bunch–not quite plants, but not quite fungi either. In fact, they’re not a single creature at all! Most lichens are made up of one or more types of fungi and a green algae. The fungi provide the “body”, and the algae provides photosynthesis. Together, they are able to do much more than they would on their own.

Lace Lichen (Ramalina menziesii) is special in many ways. It’s unique hair-like appearance makes it easily recognizable. Plus, it’s the official state lichen of California! It’s a food source for deer, as well as a nest material for birds. You can spot this species almost anywhere in Humboldt, but one of the best places is at Ma-le’l Dunes.

Sources:
Wikipedia – Lace Lichen
YouTube – What’s a Lichen? How Scientists Got it Wrong for 150 Years
Flickr – Jerry Kirkhart
#lichen #lacelichen #fungi #algae #creaturefeature #humboldt