Last one out of the Kinjaverse, turn out the lights.
Last one out of the Kinjaverse, turn out the lights.
Illustration for article titled Otters Oddities

It's moldy, it's slimy, it has no brain, but it's better than you!

I'm referring, of course, to slime molds, specifically, Dictyostelium discoideum.


This little sucker can perform one of the best tricks in nature.

In it's natural state, it is a single cell that sits comfortably in a decomposing pile of vegetation. All the little cells, happily going about their business. Until, something happens. Maybe the seasons change, or maybe the food supply is running low. For whatever reason, it's time to move.

So, through some sort of process, probably chemical, all the single cell molds will gather in one location. There they join together into a slug. Yup. Natures own version of Voltron. The slug will then make it's wat to the top of the pile all the molds have been happily residing in. Once it get's there, another little bit of magic happens.

The single celled molds reconfigure again into a stalk, where the majority of the cells are released into the wind as spores. These spores will travel until they find a new source of food, and then become single cells molds again to start the process over again.


So, you won a trophy from the Cub Scouts for your Pinewood Derby car? Big deal. here we have an organism that starts life as a mold, transforms into a slug, then into a plant and then, back into a mold.

Man will never top the achievements of nature.

Slime Mold

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