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Protomyxa Feeding

Protomyxa Feeding.jpg ThumbnailsFresh-Water HydraThumbnailsFresh-Water HydraThumbnailsFresh-Water Hydra

Quite as interesting among the Moners, to which the Finger Slime belongs, is the Protomyxa aurantiaca, a shapeless bit of transparent matter, containing merely circulating granules. Locomotion is effected by extending the body into pseudopodia, or false feet, and contracting them. Its movement is slow and gliding. When at rest it appears as a mere lump of jelly, but its whole demeanor changes when in the presence of a living animal suited for food. Fine threads immediately begin to shoot out from all sides, which fuse about the unsuspecting prey, while all the little grains in the slime[34] course to and fro. For five or six hours the little fellow hugs closely round the prey until it has become thoroughly absorbed, at least the nutritious parts, into its body-mass, when it draws itself away, or back into its original place, leaving by its side the skeleton of its late victim. Without eyes or ears or parts of any kind it knows how to find its food; without muscles or limbs it is able to seize it; without a mouth it can suck out its living body, and without a stomach it can digest the food in the midst of its own slime, and cast out the parts for which it has no use.

Author
Intelligence in Plants and Animals
Thomas George Gentry
Published 1900
Available from gutenberg.org
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