Many-headed Slime - Physarum polycephalum
This enigmatic slime mold moves using shuttle streaming, which is characterized by rhythmic back-and-forth flow of the protoplasm. Incredibly, this slime mold exhibits intelligent characteristics similar to those seen in single-celled creatures and social insects. For example, it is able to solve the shortest path problem - When grown in a maze, P. polycephalum will retract from everywhere in the maze, except the shortest route connecting the food sources, thus producing efficient networks by getting to the food using the shortest route. Amazing!
Habitat: Growing under bark on a fallen, rotting tree in a deciduous forest.
''Physarum polycephalum'', literally the "many-headed slime", is a slime mold that inhabits shady, cool, moist areas, such as decaying leaves and logs. Like slime molds in general, it is sensitive to light; in particular, light can repel the slime mold and be a factor in triggering spore growth.