Aren't slime molds fascinating?
Slime molds are perhaps the intermediary step life took in evolution from simple, single-cell organisms to organized collections of cells, each with a specific purpose aimed at supporting the communal good of the entire collection of cells. In an abundance of the bacteria that slime mold cells eat, they all act as individual one-celled organisms, gorging themselves on the food source, dividing, and going back to consuming food.
But as food availability becomes limited, specific cells send out a chemical signal calling other cells to them, and these attracted cells amplify this chemical signal until a large colony of cells, many hundreds of thousands strong, has gathered. This assembly then takes on individualized functions. They form an outer rim that keeps sending out the attractor chemical. They organize from an amorphous blob to an elongated structure with a distinct head and tail. The tail flagellates, guided by the head to move the organism to an appropriate point where it takes hold, sends up a budding stalk with a bulbous top that eventually explodes releasing millions of spores. Any spore reaching a suitable source of food becomes a new slime mold cell repeating the process of eating and reproducing single cells till the available food is consumed and the organization process begins again.
Isn’t nature utterly fascinating in all its many approaches to continue life?