Slime Mould (Physarum polycephalum) is a single cell organism in the Physaracae family of myxomycetes. It is not a fungus. It is an amoeboid protist – a mould (mold). It is generally known as the Blob.
Slime Mould is bright yellow in a network of interlaced tubes. It does not have a central nervous system, a mouth, stomach, arms, legs, eyes, and other usual features. However, it can move slowly (at 4 centimetres per hour) and it can feed itself.
Its life cycle is spore, gamete, plasmode, then alternating an haploid amoebal stage and an diploid plasmodial stage. The plasmode stage is the bright yellow phase.
It grows up to 10 metres (33 feet).
The amoeboid protist is abundant in a wide range of habitats. It is found in temperate zones and in forests with a damp, shady undergrowth in North America, South America, Australia, and Europe.
It is bacteriophagous and mycophagous. In captivity, it eats oat flakes.
Although it does not have reproductive organs, scientists have identified 720 different sexes.
Scientists think Slime Mould might be immortal (living forever). Zoologists at the Zoological Park in Paris are conducting studies on the Slime Mould to learn more about it.
Location of photographs: Parc Zoologique de Paris in Bois de Vincennes, France
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM