- Title: Paris zoo unveils mysterious "blob"
- Date: 16th October 2019
- Summary: PARIS, FRANCE (OCTOBER 16, 2019) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF "BLOB" ON DISPLAY IN VIVARIUM OF ZOO VARIOUS OF SCREEN SHOWING IMAGES EXPLAINING HOW "BLOB" GROWS AND DEVELOPS INTERACTIVE DISPLAY ABOUT ABILITIES OF "BLOB" EXPLAINING HOW IT MOVES, EATS AND EXPLORES FOR EXAMPLE DIRECTOR OF PARIS MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY, BRUNO DAVID, LOOKING AT "BLOB" (SOUNDBITE) (French) DIRECTOR OF PARIS MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY, BRUNO DAVID, SAYING: "The 'blob' is a living being that is part of some of nature's mysteries. We don't really know what it is. Even today we don't know yet if it's an animal, a fungus... It's not a plant, we're sure of that, but is it an intermediary between a fungus and animal? It's categorised in a group called Myxomycetes, so a strange name."
- Embargoed: 30th October 2019 15:39
- Keywords: Paris Zoo animals wildlife blob
- Location: PARIS, FRANCE
- City: PARIS, FRANCE
- Country: France
- Topics: Environment
- Reuters ID: LVA002B1CL9P5
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: The Paris Zoo unveiled a new creature on Wednesday (October 16) which they call a "blob", a yellow lichen-like organism they said has surprising behaviours and abilities for something they can't yet even classify.
Part of the Myxomycetes family, a class of slime molds, a "blob" is neither an animal nor a fungus but has characteristics of both.
Though it has no mouth, no stomach and no eyes, the "blob" can still detect and eat its food.
"The "blob" is a living being that is part of some of nature's mysteries. We don't really know what it is," the director of the Paris Museum of Natural history Bruno David said, adding that it lives and grows in damp forest undergrowth away from the light.
Studies on the yellow mold-like slime show it can heal itself in two minutes if cut in half, has as many as 720 genetics sexes and can move up to 4 centimetres and hour without any limbs.
The "blob" doesn't even have a brain, yet it is capable of finding solutions to problems and transmitting the knowledge it learns.
"The 'blob' will learn how to get past the barrier and get to its food, and it will start to do this more quickly and more strongly. If we fuse two blobs together, the one which learned will transmit its knowledge to the other," David said.
Many of these biological oddities exist in the wild, with different characteristics in different continents, but this is the first in the world to go on display in captivity.
It will go on display to the public at the Paris Zoo on Saturday (October 19).
(Production: Thierry Chiarello, Kathryn Carlson)
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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