Physarum polycephalum

Physarum polycephalum, also referred as slime molds, belongs to the supergroup Amoebozoa, phylum Mycetozoa, and class Myxogastria. P. polycephalum, often referred to as the “many-headed slime,” is a slime mold that inhabits shady, cool, moist areas, such as decaying leaves and logs. It is sensitive to light; in particular, light can repel the slime mold and be a factor in triggering spore growth.

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ZME Science posts about Physarum polycephalum

Animals, Genetics

Brainless slime redefines intelligence, could solve real problems

Physarum polycephalum

Single cell amoebae can remember, make decisions and anticipate change, urging researchers to redefine what we perceive as intelligence as soon as possible. For gardeners, they are usually a pest, for some hikers, a nice view, and for researchers, they are protists, a taxonomic group reserved for “everything we don’t really understand,” says Chris Reid of the University of Sydney. The big mystery here comes from the fact that slime molds are much more intelligent than they seem at a first glance. As we told you in a previous article, these creatures can navigate using external memory, despite having no brain. Particularly one species, yellow Physarum polycephalum, can solve mazes,…