The zoo in Paris welcomes from this Saturday a guest hardly classifiable in the scientific world: it is the 'Blob', which in Spanish literally means amorphous mass, an unusual smart cell No brain but able to think.
"Not an animal, not even a fungus, as they say there, is a cell with several nuclei. The extraordinary thing is that it manages to do things that many vertebrates with thousands of cells and neurons do not do, "explains Efe Luca Morino, animal behavior specialist at the zoo in Paris and responsible for 'Blob'. "In addition, it is not female or male, but has 720 sexes", explain the scientists.
Among his abilities, solve problems complicated despite not having a brain. It has been observed that this unusual creature is able, for example, to find the exit of a huge maze in the fastest and most optimal way.
Amorphous and immortal
'Blob' is surprising in every conceivable aspect. His amorphous body, which forms a striking yellow mass, far seems to spread like a network, it grows at a speed of one centimeter per hour and can get cover up to 30 square meters.
In nature, this cell can be found mainly in the forests, especially in shady and humid places. If it dries it is able to revive when he finds the right conditions again, so scientists tend to point out that it is virtually immortal.
The organism, which feeds on bacteria and microbes, belongs to the species Physarum polycephalumbut his current name is a tribute to the movie of Science fiction "The blob"(The Devouring Mass), which starred Steve McQueen in 1958.
"A weird thing"
"It's a weird thing," says the president of the National Museum of Natural History in Paris, Bruno David. This peculiar organism has come to light for the first time thanks to the alliance between the museum and the Parisian zoo, where from now on it will serve as teaching material. "We are an atypical zoo and this is perfect for the 'Blob', because people want to know what it is. Communicate about the capabilities of this cell, of which we know very little, is very interesting, "says Morino.
In addition, its presence in the Parisian zoo will be used to keep studying it, taking advantage of their interaction in poorly analyzed fields, such as their life in nature, because so far it has been mainly observed in laboratories.
"It uses basic mechanisms, some of which we know, as basic rules of transmission of information. But also of other things we have no idea. We verify extraordinary capabilities, but we must understand why he has done it and those are the questions we ask ourselves now, "says the scientist.
. (tagsToTranslate) Animals (t) Science