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  slime molds
From: Alektra at aol.com on 2002.07.03 at 21:34:22(9073)
When I was a kid, Cricket Magazine (a literary magazine for kids) had an article about how to keep a slime mold as a pet, essentially culturing it in a nonsterile layman fashion. I have always regretted losing that article, because I have never seen the information duplicated-- and I did an online search for it a few months ago. This is what I remember, but please, experts, correct me if you know:

Basically, you get a piece of slime mold off a log, put it on one end of a moist piece of paper towel in a bottle, and put a single grain of uncooked non-instant rolled oats on the other end of the moist paper towel. The slime mold will become mobile and "walk" to the other end of the paper towel to "eat" the oats (actually, to consume the bacteria feeding on the rotting oat grain-- oddly enough, instant oats will not work).

You periodically "clean the cage" by putting in a fresh piece of moist paper towel, then taking only the portion of old paper towel that bears your pet, laying it on the fresh towel, and letting your pet "crawl" onto the fresh paper towel toward a new piece of oats.

Eventually, your pet gets tired (I can't remember how many weeks or months it takes) and you have to let it "rest" by letting the cage dry out. This is when it stops moving and sets up fruiting bodies.

You can keep your pet in suspended animation by cutting out the piece of paper towel that has the fruiting bodies on it, and putting it in a bottle. When you want to revive the mold, you put the scrap on a new paper towel, moisten the whole thing, and add a grain of rolled oat again.

This is what I remember from decades ago! It may not be accurate in every detail, and I never tried it. I'm certain this is the gist, however.

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From: Paul Tyerman ptyerman at ozemail.com.au> on 2002.07.03 at 22:08:25(9075)
>
>Basically, you get a piece of slime mold off a log, put it on one end of a
moist piece of paper towel in a bottle, and put a single grain of uncooked
non-instant rolled oats on the other end of the moist paper towel. The
slime mold will become mobile and "walk" to the other end of the paper
towel to "eat" the oats (actually, to consume the bacteria feeding on the
rotting oat grain-- oddly enough, instant oats will not work).
>

That is just SCAREY!!!! I think it would make a good science fiction
movie!! .

What exactly IS a Slime mold? I had thought it was something we get here
in mulch ocassionally. What we have appears as what almost looks like a
dollop of that sprayed polystyrene house insulation. It looks like it has
literally bubbled up out of the ground. I had thought they were a type of
slime mould but I am wondering now whether they are.

I realise that this is not Aroid based, but I am rather intrigued now. I
will leave it up to Moderator Steve as to whether he passes this mesage
through to the list or not. I quite understand if it is felt to be too
off-topic and is instead deleted.

Cheers.

Paul Tyerman

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