For bacteria, it’s a dog eat dog world, as you can see below; in this video, a bacteria called Myxococcus xanthus is devouring Escherichia coli, another bacteria.

Myxococcus xanthus is a gram-negative, rod-shaped species of bacteria. They are a predatory species, working as a single biofilm called a swarm. The colony is also called a “wolf pack”, and can reach several inches wide. The function together through Stigmergy – a form of self organization and indirect coordination which produces seemingly intelligent structures, without need for any planning, control, or even direct communication. They undergo changes in the synthesis of new proteins, as well as alterations in the cell wall.

But it gets even weirder: during stressful conditions, the bacteria undergo a process in which about 100,000 individual cells aggregate to form a structure called the fruiting body over the course of several hours. Lab research also showed that in specific conditions, the bacteria can develop new ways of moving.

 

A bacterian wolf pack – image via Wiki Commons.

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