Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

Not an animal, plant or fungus — or protist — but still a life form


Fuligo septica is also known by the attractive name of “dog vomit slime mold”:

It’s maybe a “protist,” which could be expert-ese for “we don’t know for sure”:

I’m fairly certain this [photo at site] is Fuligo septica, one of the few of these fascinating organisms to have a well-used common name – dog vomit slime mold. Slime molds are not true molds; true molds are fungi, while slime molds are protists. Wayne Armstrong has an excellent article on slime molds that explains how slime molds are different from other organisms. He also illustrates the common name through a series of Fuligo septica photographs. If you read his account, you’ll learn that this yellowish mass is the spore-bearing stage in this slime mold’s life cycle, known as the aethalium.

Daniel Mosquin, “Fuligo septica” at University of British Columbia (May 31, 2006)

It seems that life comes into existence whether it can be classified or not.

Note: In a recent post, a question was asked: Animal adopts the lifestyle of a fungus. Animals adopt the lifestyles of plants (sea anemone?) and fungi but are there any instances of plants or fungi adopting the lifestyles of animals? If not, why not?

Several kind readers wrote privately to ask, what about carnivorous plants? Good point. Carnivorous plants behave like animals in some ways. So the various kingdoms of life all seem to be copying each other.

Anyone wanting a journey through memory lane should check out Wolf-Ekkehard-Loennig vs. Nick Matzke on these very pages about the improbability of merely Darwinian evolution in the creation of carnivorous plants: In “Remember that Darwin-eating plant? Now threatening to eat Nick Matzke … ” (September 3, 2011), we posted geneticist Wolf-Ekkehard Loennig’s objections to Berkeley evolutionary biologist Nick Matzke’s assurances that Darwin explains carnivorous plants. Indeed, Dr. Loennig betrays a hint of impatience, remarking,

“Matzke still doesn’t seem to have carefully studied my extensive paper yet, but he is still complaining that others know nothing on that topic and keeps on talking some nonsense promoting some half-baked ideas…” Hey, it’s fun, especially when the carnivorous plant suggested resolving the intellectual problem by eating Nick Matzke…

The rhythmic pulsing is interesting. I count about 180 pulses in the 6 hours of the video, so each pulse is about 2 minutes long. polistra

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