This is a 3 day, 8 hour time-lapse movie of the cellular slime mold Dictyostelium discoideum feeding on bacteria. First thought to be fungal relatives due to the similarity of the spore forming stalks, cellular slime molds are now in a phylum all their own (contrast with plasmodial slime molds). When food runs out and they are ready to reproduce or sporulate, they release signal molecules into their environment, by which they find each other and create swarms. These amoebae then join up into a tiny multicellular slug-like coordinated creature, which crawls to an open lit place and grows into a fruiting body. Some of the amoebae become spores to begin the next generation, but some of the amoebae sacrifice themselves to become a dead stalk, lifting the spores up into the air.Note how the mobile "slugs" develop into aerial sporangia. Images were taken at 5-minute intervals.
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