Animals (Invertebrates): Cuttlefish Camouflage
Animals (Invertebrates): Shark vs. Octopus
Fungi: Ants were the first farmers
Fungi: TED Talk on 6 ways mushrooms can save the world
Fungi: Cordyceps (Mind-control) Mushroom
Plants: The Venus Flytrap
For us, exchanging DNA and reproducing are all the same activity. But for bacteria, those two things are separate. Bacteria reproduce asexually through binary fission, which is essentially self-cloning. So, to increase genetic diversity, they may also exchange DNA with each other in this process called Conjugation. They use Sex Pili to form a connection, and send pieces of DNA across the channel. Hott.
SLIME MOLD: a Problem-solving Protist
Slime mold is hands-down my favorite Protist.
A colony is composed of lots of individuals, which are essentially amoeba-like sacs. In nutrient-rich conditions, they all spread out over the surface in a sheet, and look like bright yellow toxic vomit. When times get tough and nutrients are scarce, the individual amoebae will flock together to form a “slug” (shown in the first few seconds of the video above), which is impressively mobile and can migrate to find a better place to live. If all else fails, as a last resort, the colony will grow a stalk with a spore-producing body on the end, and scatter itself, hoping that some will land in a better place.
Because slime mold is great at finding the most efficient path between food sources, it is capable of solving mazes, and has even tackled problems as difficult as designing the Tokyo Rail System (in just 26 hours, whereas it certainly took human engineers much longer). Article here, and video here.
The “simple” flagellum of a Prokaryote is still not that simple!
Evolutionary history of all of life on Earth (a very helpful overview)