We all know that there is strength in numbers. Many animals have even discovered this and, for example, migrate in large herds. However, one would never expect bacteria to have discovered this or know enough to organize themselves collectively.
Bacteria consist of a single cell that doesn’t even have a nucleus. They have no nervous system, and they reproduce by simply dividing in half. Of course, there is no brain; yet, they seem to display a sense of consciousness that totally baffles the neurosciences. Some marine species of bacteria are able to sense when there are other bacteria around them. Then, when a sufficient number have gathered together, their metabolism changes, and they begin to produce a slime that then holds them together. While all this is now known, new research shows that the slime, called biofilm, includes chemicals that are poisonous to the very predators that would ordinarily feed on the bacteria. In fact, the biofilm seems to protect the bacteria. The more bacteria there are, the more biofilm they make and the more protection they have from predators.
There are no simple forms of life. Even bacteria, which are an important part of the ecosystem, have been designed with the ability to protect themselves – something they could never have invented for themselves.