Offbeat: Paris zoo adds slime mold ‘blob’ to its list of attractions - - PressFrom - Canada
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Offbeat Paris zoo adds slime mold ‘blob’ to its list of attractions

17:25  17 october  2019
17:25  17 october  2019 Source:   bgr.com

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Slime molds are one of nature’s most enduring mysteries. Operating like a tiny community of individual organisms working toward a single goal, slime Slime molds are undeniably interesting, and while you probably won’t catch a whole lot of action if you choose to stop by “the Blob ” in Paris , you’ll still

A Paris zoo showcased a mysterious new organism on Wednesday, dubbed the " blob ", a yellowish unicellular small living being which looks like a fungus but acts like an animal. This newest exhibit of the Paris Zoological Park, which goes on display to the public on Saturday, has no mouth, no.

a group of yellow flowers: slime mold© Provided by Penske Media Corporation slime mold

If you find yourself at the Paris Zoological Park this weekend you might come across a creature you wouldn’t normally expect to see on display. It’s not a plant or an animal, and it doesn’t have a brain, but it does demonstrate shocking levels of intelligence. It’s a slime mold nicknamed “the Blob,” and it’s incredibly cool.

Slime molds are one of nature’s most enduring mysteries. Operating like a tiny community of individual organisms working toward a single goal, slime molds spread across a surface in search of food which it digests and uses as fuel. There are nearly a thousand different known species, and they come in many shapes and sizes.

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The Paris Zoological Park on Saturday will begin a first-of- its -kind exhibit housing a super weird organism: a bright yellow slime mold it "The blob is really one of the most extraordinary things on Earth today," said Bruno David, the director of the French National Museum of Natural History in Paris .

The slime mold is widely used in scientific experiments. The blob , scientific name Physarum polycephalum, is a yellowish, unicellular living being that looks like a fungus but acts like an animal. The ‘ blob ’ is neither plant, mushroom nor animal and capable of learning despite its lack of neuron.

Classifying slime molds has been incredibly difficult for scientists because they’re unlike anything else on Earth. They’re not technically fungi, but they’re also don’t fit well into the animal realm. They have no brain, but are capable of learning and reacting to changes in their environment.

One famous slime mold experiment was conducted using a map of the Tokyo railway. Researchers placed food sources at the various station locations on the map and placed a slime mold in the center. As the slime stretched out in search of food, it formed a network between the food nodes that was actually more efficient than the real railway layout of the city.

Exactly how the mold does this and what processes are at work on a microscopic scale aren’t well understood, but the observations and experiments don’t lie. Slime molds are undeniably interesting, and while you probably won’t catch a whole lot of action if you choose to stop by “the Blob” in Paris, you’ll still get to observe one of the most interesting wonders of the natural world.

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This is interesting!