Saturday, August 20, 2011 6:20:59 PM
i was just browsing the net and i came across these things called zombie ants and i found it interesting so i thought id share what i read with you because maybe you havent heard of zombie ants before
In two sites in the Brazilian rain forest, researchers identified four new species of brain-controlling fungal parasites. These fungi infect carpenter ants and turn them into zombies, directing them to leave their colonies and die in places where the fungi can grow and spread.
a parasitic fungus manipulates an unfortunate ant, filling its head with fungal cells and changing its muscles so the ant can grab a leaf in a death grip just when and where the fungus wants it.
The zombifying fungus can be seen growing from the top of this dead ant's head (as you can see in the pic)
The fungus takes control of the ant using chemicals that have not yet been identified. wonder if it can be used on people
After the fungus kills the ant, profuse fungal growth erupts from the dead ant's skin. and grows.
Research in a Thai rain forest has shown the fungi, a species of Ophiocordyceps, forces an infected ant to wander drunkenly over the forest's low leaves before clamping its jaws around the main vein on the underside of a leaf in an ant zombie graveyard.
By watching 16 infected ants bite down, the researchers found that their last bites took place around noon, indicating they are synchronized to either the sun or a related cue, like temperature or humidity.