The Mysteries of Slime Mold

Originally I'd mistaken slime mold for a form of fungus—and indeed scientists classified it as a fungus for a long time until quite recently—when in fact slime mold comprises its own kingdom of life, unrelated to fungi, plants or animals. They've been described as "sacks of amoebas" that, despite having no nerve cells, demonstrate a rudimentary intelligence, with the ability to seek out food sources and remember locations; even more amazingly, behaviors and memories are shared by an entire colony. While some are kind of disgusting in appearance (one variety is even called "dog vomit"), many of them have a beauty all their own. Hover to see the common name, if I've identified it; click for an enlargement.

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