have you ever heard about the fungus that causes zombification, It’s a parasite that feeds on Ants organs, and applies a mind-controlling technique before it explodes out of the Ants brain.
when the ants affected by this parasite they have no longer in control of its actions. Manipulated by the parasite, an infected Ant will leave the
mostly we found in Brazilian rain forest have it rough.
the parasite sits quietly inside its host, slowly eats on the ant’s non-vital organs. But this is just a warm-up.
the ant doesn’t even know what happens to himself, The Cordyceps has released chemicals into the ant’s brain, and taken control of its body.
The fungus’ preferred spot for reproduction is about 25 cm (10 inches) off the ground and always pointing north.
This marks the victim’s final act. From here, the fungus continues to grow and fester inside the ant’s body, eventually piercing through the ant’s head and releasing its fungal spores. This entire process, from start to finish, can take upwards of ten agonizing days.
how the parasitic fungus can control an Ant
This fungus is often referred to as a “brain parasite,” but new research published this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows that the brains of these zombie ants are left intact by the parasite
“The fungus is known to secrete tissue-specific metabolites and cause changes in host gene expression as well as atrophy in the mandible muscles of its ant host,”
“The altered host behavior is an extended phenotype of the microbial parasite’s genes being expressed through the body of its host. But it’s unknown how the fungus coordinates these effects to manipulate the host’s behavior.”said lead author Maridel Fredericksen, a doctoral candidate at the University of Basel Zoological Institute, Switzerland, in a statement.
By referring to the parasite’s “extended phenotype,” Fredericksen is referring to the way that O. unilateralis is able to hijack an external entity, in this case the carpenter ant, and make it a literal extension of its physical self.
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