To rest or hunt...
...Or in this case, ‘to forage for new sources of nutrients or slow their metabolism.’
“At a critical bacterial concentration, Escherichia coli use a chemical signal to collectively swim from warm areas to cooler ones where they can conserve energy.”
It’s amazing how this sounds very much like an “emergence” property of life forms through chemical communication.
It also reminds me of a program segment from NOVA/Science Now on PBS profiling Bonnie Bassler’s findings on a strain of bacteria which explored the concepts of epigenetics and emergence. Her strain of bacteria acted in large numbers upon receiving a chemical signal as if to be firefly like during luminescence. Similarly not unlike, the way schools of fish seem to move in unison, the way flocks of birds seem to fly in formation, and the way some insects swarm in a unified direction, each group appearing to have some common goal in their activities.
I do not think it’s too much of a leap to suggest that a multi cellular organism, the human genotype for instance, may have at one time in a distant past taken something of this cellular activity and incorporated it into the organism - Not unlike how the chemo receptors on top of the aortic arch of the human now help to regulate body temperature and in turn initiate a cascade of events toward maintaining body temperature or homeostasis.