September 16, 2005
From: Steven Mcconnachie
After reading a passage in the Bill Bryson book A short history of everything, I was lead to believe that slugs were a form of plant life, cells that had combined and formed a slug, is this true? Don't know species or region.
stevencnx@ aol.comMcconnachie, S., 2005 (Sep 16) What is a slug?. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/14781
I have been meaning to read that book but have yet to find time so I'll make a guess at what he was talking about. I suspect he was referring to Slime Moulds [Slime Molds] which are a group of primitive organisms that used to be considered Fungi, but are now placed in the Kingdom Protista. One group of these, the cellular slime moulds, spend much of their life as single cells, but they have this amazing ability to aggregate together - when they get the urge - to form a 'slug' which can crawl along. The slug usually forms into a reproductive body, often raising itself from the substrate to form a little fruiting body.
Are they 'slugs'? The term slug usually refers to the relatives of snails, both on land and in the sea, which have lost their shells during their evolution. However, as is the way with most common terms, 'slug' is widely used to mean any slug-like organism.
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