Slime Mold: Animal or Plant?

Down to Earth: The radical collective of slime mold

Jambo, Mr. Nature here–and this is wild: how do you tell whether a living thing is an animal or a plant?

There are more than 900 species of slime molds, they’re found all over–even inside your air conditioner, if the drain gets blocked. They mostly live as single-celled organisms; but when food is scarce, they can clump themselves together and function as a multi-celled organism.

They have neither brains nor nervous systems: nevertheless, slime molds can remember, and some studies suggest they can even learn, modifying their behavior in light of past experience. Yeesh, did I say “experience”? Well, yeah: because that’s apparently what’s going on with them–although just how they do it, no one knows.

Currently biologists have decided that slime molds are not plants but rather a kind of amoeba. The smart kind that remembers things. Go figure.

Just when we think we’ve got Creation figured out, God likes to tantalize us with a mystery like this.

It keeps us on our toes.

About leeduigon

I have lived in Metuchen, NJ, all my life. I have been married to my wife Patricia since 1977. I am a former newspaper editor and reporter. I was also the owner-operator of my own small business for several years. I wrote various novels and short stories published during 1980s and 1990s. I am a long-time student of judo and Japanese swordsmanship (kenjutsu). I also play chess, basketball, and military and sports simulations. View all posts by leeduigon

5 responses to “Slime Mold: Animal or Plant?

  • Phoebe

    Sounds like a good candidate for a horror movie. Well, actually, these days it just sounds like a candidate.

  • unknowable2

    With all mankind has learned, there’s still much left to learn about how life functions and, obviously, how it can remember and learn. Lest we forget, life itself is a miracle and God’s ways are wondrous.

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