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Zombie Ants!

Ants

Well... almost. A CNN report sheds light on these real 'zombies' in nature.

| December 28, 2012

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - New research at Pennsylvania State University has shed light on "zombie" ants - or ants that have been affected to exhibit zombie-like symptoms by a parasite, according to a new report from CNN's Light Years blog.

"There are several examples in nature where parasites manipulate host behavior to further their own reproductive goals," writes CNN's Elizabeth Landau. Research from David Hughes, assistant professor of entomology and biology at Pennsylvania State University, studies "real-life zombie scenarios among ants."

From Light Years:

 

"As a result of the fungus, the ant leaves the nest and has convulsive behaviors. She may be 'walking randomly around the forest for a couple of hours,' Hughes said.

And then, the ant will go to the underside of a leaf, bite into the veins and hang upside down to die for about six hours. 'The fungus makes them hold on (to the leaf) even after they’re dead,' Hughes said. From the head of the ant corpse sprouts more fungus, which emits spores, infecting more ants."
 
Read the full post at CNN.

 

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