Beyond their pretty remarkable ability to “think” and problem-solve, slime molds are just plain beautiful.
John Bonner, a professor emeritus at Princeton, has been studying them for seventy years. He’s been fascinated by the ability of this “bag of amoebae encased in a thin slime sheath” to operate like a simple brain, despite its biological simplicity. He’s used the gooey little guys to further the study of evolution and development for over half a century, and some of the images he’s collected are stunning.
The GIFs above are from this collection of half-century-old film clips captured by a young Bonner, showing the life cycle of a slime mold. Lastly, you absolutely do not want to miss this gorgeous new collection of close-up slime mold photos SciAm’s Alex Wild.
Old and new, these little creatures are as beautiful in form as they are amazing in biology.
Check my archive for today’s other slime mold posts!!