For most of their lifespan slime moulds
are amoeba-like, living in dark and humid habitats and serving a vital role by incorporating and digesting algae and bacteria.
For example, the concluding essay in The Uses of Slime Mould
opens with a passage that appears, almost word for word, early in Inventing God as part of a lecture by one of the characters, Carl Andros, a professor of biology.
Yellow slime mould
is known to follow traces of sweetness to locate food.
They used Physarum polycephalum, a yellow slime mould
normally found growing in piles of rotten leaves and logs, to try to provide an alternative to conventional road planning methods.
In recent years, single-celled organisms have been used to control six-legged robots, but according to a report in New Scientist, Andrew Adamatzky at UWE wants to go one step further by making a complete "robot" out of a plasmodium slime mould
, Physarum polycephalum, a commonly occurring mould that moves towards food sources such as bacteria and fungi, and shies away from light.
The amoeba species Dictyostelium discoideum lives in slime moulds
in the soil.