The Lil’ Mold That Could

Image by Ron Wolf via Flickr

I’m fascinated by creatures who navigate the world with a collective, rather than individual, intelligence. Slime molds are social amoebas, slithering in somewhere between being a plant and an animal. Like ants, a slime mold will send out  scouts from the larger body to hunt for food, then use pheromones to relay information back. This primitive form of intelligence is effective enough that the organism can  find the shortest way to food through a maze. And beyond that, they can be absolutely stunning! If I were a set designer for a fantasy movie I would totally create ginormous slime mold replicas and clump them together to make lush, plump, alien forests.

Image by Myriorama via Flickr

Image by chris10eyck via Flickr

Image by myriorama via Flickr

Image by myriorama via Flickr

Image by Sea Moon via Flickr

Image by Sea Moon via Flickr

Image by Ron Wolf via Flickr

Image by mountainamoeba via Flickr

Image by Myriorama via Flickr

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