Life in Newburgh on Ythan

By Talpa

A happy emcounter

My day is complete and my cup overfloweth when I find a slime mould, especially one as beautiful as this one.

This is the dog vomit, or scrambled egg slime mould Fuligo septica. Slime moulds aren't plants, nor are they animals nor fungi, instead they are usually classified as belonging to the Protista.

Slime moulds cells spend most of their lives as independent, amoeba-like cells, dining on fungi and bacteria, but if times become hard they swarm and aggregate into an enormous multi-nucleated single cell or a mass of individual cells which moves slowly across the ground in an organised fashion. These large masses act like giant amoebas, creeping slowly along and engulfing food particles along the way. If a slime mould aggregate is diced up, the pieces will pull themselves back together. The blobs can navigate and avoid obstacles and if a food source is placed nearby, they seem to sense it and head unerringly for it. This they do without a single neurone between them. 

I reckon that the average slime mould could come up with an acceptable Brexit plan within 24 hours and elect a new leader in 3 seconds flat,

Sign in or get an account to comment.