I think I won the weirdest pet award - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 10-04-2010, 12:19 PM
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So I've adopted a slime mold.

What are Slime Molds?
Slime Molds on Wikipedia

"Slime Mold is a broad term describing fungus-like organisms that use spores to reproduce. Slime molds were formerly classified as fungi, but are no longer considered part of this kingdom."

Slime molds are some of the strangest and most intelligent beings I have ever seen. They gather in huge groups and act as one organism, using chemical signals to work together and move. They are so strange, they both prove and debunk evolution, depending on how you look at them (I think they prove it since they represent how multi-celled organisms could have come to be, but some people argue that they are so complex that it'd be hard for evolution to produce such a being). Slime Molds have been seen to make decisions in a human-like manner, pre-thinking about time and resources before acting, and capable of complex memory, and they don't even have a brain. They move around (slowly, but it happens) and eat decaying material, mainly logs, mulch, and fungus, but have been known to like oats.
Slime molds begin their life as "slug"-shaped microscopic protists, which wander around and engulf small particles. Once they grow enough they begin to seek out others of the same species and gather in groups, becoming a visible organism. Eventually they end their life by gathering in stalks (the ones to make up the stalk die) and releasing spores into the air.
Some researchers suggest that their spores retain chemical memory even after the initial slime mold dies, meaning they might have the memory of all of their ancestors down the path. Imagine if humans were like that!

I'm trying to find a good article on keeping them as pets, but I'm pretty sure I can attempt it. Anyone else ever have a slime mold? (I honestly doubt it)

Enjoying the view over at http://forum.veggieviews.com/

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#2 Old 10-04-2010, 12:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vegkid View Post

Some researchers suggest that their spores retain chemical memory even after the initial slime mold dies, meaning they might have the memory of all of their ancestors down the path. Imagine if humans were like that!

How do you know we're not? (other than not having conscious awareness of it)
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#3 Old 10-04-2010, 12:54 PM
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Vegkid, that's cool!
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#4 Old 10-04-2010, 01:19 PM
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Be-ware of The Blob... It...
Leaps... It creeps...
It slides, it glides across the floor...
Right through... The door...
And then across the wall... A splotch... A blotch...
Be careful of The Blob!

*pop*

Interesting things, slime molds, but I don't know that they're intelligent.

*feels something gooey engulfing his ankle*
*looks down and hurriedly apologizes for insulting the slime mold's intelligence*
*breathes a sigh of relief when his foot is released*

As for where to get one... I don't know how common they are, but I think they like moist wooded areas. They might be hard to spot in their feeding/amoeboid/aggregate phase. When the environment dries out, I think they turn into their spore-forming reproductive phase, which is different, but easier to identify. You might be able to buy one from a science/biological specimen supplier, but keep in mind these business probably also sell dissection "specimens" of various animals. Maybe you'd rather find one outdoors than purchase one, for this reason. If these outfits only sell to educational institutions, you won't be able to buy one from them anyway.

Peasant (1963-1972) and Fluffy (1970s?-1982- I think of you as 'Ambrose' now)- Your spirits outshone some humans I have known. Be happy forever.
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#5 Old 10-04-2010, 02:44 PM
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I think I love slime molds so much because I LOVE the Blob.
At least these ones move maybe a few centimeters every hour. XD So even if you criticize people in the old movies for sitting there and screaming while the creature crept up on them and not running away, you'd have to sit there for a while to have one eat you. :P

I'm keeping Slimy in a glass jar with a wet paper towel and some oats. My dad worked for 30 minutes sawing at the log I found him on (yes, I brought home a 4 foot log from my friend's house because I didn't want to disturb the slime mold) to get the section he was on off. There are plenty of other assorted mushrooms and creepy crawlies on it, but I set the log pieces aside in my secret garden (a lawn out back that I am trying to place as many plants/organisms in as possible to attract tons of wildlife and create an ecosystem - never mowed, barely disturbed - kind of like an outdoor terrarium without walls) so they can live there. I would keep them too but, when you see a log with a gigantic gelatinous yellow blob that you've been trying to find for the past year along with a few mushrooms, you kind of have to have priorities :P

I am also a bit worried that slimy is in his spore phase, which means he is practically dead. If he shows signs of decomposition I will release him immediately so his spores can crawl the secret garden and create a generation of slime molds

Enjoying the view over at http://forum.veggieviews.com/

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#6 Old 10-04-2010, 02:47 PM
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I love fungi and mosses. Beautiful and fascinating. O.K. - back on topic. I'm not sure I've ever seen a slime mold.
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#7 Old 10-04-2010, 03:00 PM
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I've never seen one of those! Interesting. I like his name too, Slimy, that's cute.

I do not understand/What it is I've done wrong/Full of holes/Check for pulse/Blink your eyes/One for yes/Two for no/I have no idea what I am talking about/I am trapped in this body and can't get out-Radiohead
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#8 Old 10-04-2010, 04:15 PM
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You might've seen one before and mistaken it for dog vomit. They actually look like normal molds a lot of the time, but that couldn't be farther from the truth.

Then again, some of them, such as Slimy, do NOT look like normal molds. Mine looks like the Blob mated with a coral reef and the offspring rolled around in the mud.

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#9 Old 10-05-2010, 06:03 AM
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vegkid, I wonder them a lot! can you post a photo? =)
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#10 Old 10-05-2010, 10:34 AM
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I had a brain glitch- your post sounded to me like you were planning to get one, not that you already had one- even though it started with "I have adopted a slime mold".

If Slimy is making spores, maybe you could keep some of the spore bodies and start a new one, in addition to releasing some of them in your garden?

Peasant (1963-1972) and Fluffy (1970s?-1982- I think of you as 'Ambrose' now)- Your spirits outshone some humans I have known. Be happy forever.
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#11 Old 10-05-2010, 02:23 PM
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Being that they're not animals, I'm not sure it qualifies as a pet any more than a houseplant does. Still, this tread got me to look them up and see how cool they are. I learned a little bit about them 10+ yrs ago in my botany class, but having pic makes me appreciate them in a way I haven't in the past. Thanks VegKid

Anyone wanting to see pics, just google slime molds, there's too many to do justic by picking a few and posting them.
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#12 Old 10-08-2010, 08:33 PM
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They're more like animals than plants though, they have full mobility and consume food from other outside sources rather than photosynthesize. I suppose you could say the same about plants such as venus flytraps (Darn it, I've had 3 of them in the past, they've all died on me ) but hey, I guess you could have a plant as a pet! :3

I actually have several plant-pets if you count them like that. One is a rubber plant I've had since I was 5, another is an aloe I've had since I was 7, and the other is a pineapple I've had since last year. You see, in science we were doing this tropical fruit tasting thing, and I asked if I could steal the top of the pineapple. I then put it in water until its roots came out, planted it, and now it has 2 children

Enjoying the view over at http://forum.veggieviews.com/

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#13 Old 10-08-2010, 09:23 PM
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Pics or it didn't happen
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#14 Old 10-08-2010, 10:40 PM
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We don't want a picture of some random mold, we want a picture of slimy.

‎"One meal, soon forgotten, in exchange for a whole life." Author Unknown
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#15 Old 10-09-2010, 08:40 AM
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Aaaand bad news. I just let Slimy go, since he was starting to grow mold. I think he's dead.

But fine, lemme go fish him out of wherever he is...

Enjoying the view over at http://forum.veggieviews.com/

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#16 Old 10-09-2010, 08:49 AM
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Here we go!

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