A peculiar pet.

As we are away too often to keep a pet, we don’t have one at home. But at least a peculiar living creature is visiting our premises at irregular times. So, in a sense we have a “pet”.

And I bet our pet has brighter colours than yours. Here it is.

Two weeks ago

Two weeks ago

But what is it? I assume it is a kind of slime mold, not an attractive name for a pet I admit. It is a hard to define organism, sometimes grouped under the fungi, sometimes under the amoebae, or as a separate family or organism. It seems to be a cooperation of many separate cells that unite and possess qualities that these cells don’t have separately.  A singular cell cannot detect light, but as self-organizing organism they can. Isn’t that interesting?

It has a tremendous potential for growth or organization; look at the second and the third picture, only 9 hours of night time. It strongly increased in size and in organization.

22.00 PM

22.00 PM

7.00 AM

7.00 AM

And the bright yellow colour, what could be the meaning of that, certainly not to please our human eye and how does it manufacture this bright color?

Also the slime mold has a GPS system, leaving a slime trace where it has been, so it remembers where it has been and avoids that trail. This way it knows where to look for new food sources, avoiding spending effort to go where it has already been.

Smart little thing: cooperation and navigation without a brain  and being present for probably millions of years already. My guess is it will still be here when our big brains have resulted in our own extinction.

 

Interesting video about this smart organism: Hungry Physarum: http://youtu.be/Yela-W4k9NQ

 

About Henk Kraaijenhof

My name is Henk Kraaijenhof and I started this blog as a random collection of concepts, ideas, stories and events that are important or interesting to me in my work as an international performance consultant in a wide range of fields, and sometimes outside of my work. I will try to post a new entry every 3-4 days. Feel free to comment if you like.
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