Where The Buffalo Roam
Though undoubtedly microbial mat bacteria have evolved ways to survive exceedingly harsh environments, they’re harmless to humans and, it would appear, to other mammals. As long as such animals don’t dunk themselves in that harsh environment, that is! Thanks to Flickr member Mattia Pancirolli for the images above, proving at least that some of Yellowstone’s many lifeforms do find ways to get along.
Keep Your Mitts Off The Mats!
In any list of Microbial Mat Do’s and Dont’s there are probably no Do’s and just one Don’t: leave them alone! While an average temperature often in excess of 175 degrees F (79 degrees C) might be off-putting in itself, the sign from Yellowstone Park references the fact that microbial mats can be extremely fragile. Full props to Flickr user Jon (thetejon) for the image above, marking the convergence of one very old life form with a much newer upstart species… us.
All images in this article have been graciously made available under Creative Commons international licenses.