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Mushrooms Make Ants As Zombie
Tuesday, January 4, 2011 // back to top?
Scientists find one type of fungus that may have invaded the body of wood ants(Camponotus Leonardi) and control their behavior during the last 48 million years.
A parasitic fungus called Ophiocordyceps unilateralist has proven to be deliberatelyinfecting the ants because the ants that live in plants and trees that want to be used alsoby the fungus.
Once the fungus invades the ant's body, he then instructed the insect to bite the bottom of the leaf, right in the veins. Then, when ants are in an optimal location, the fungus thengrows rapidly in the whole body of the ant.
Finally mushrooms kill the ants 'zombie' whose behavior is controlled by it while gettingready to deploy new spores.
"When an ant is under the control of fungi, ants leave a clear signal called 'bite of death'in the leaves," said David Hughes, a researcher from Harvard University, as quotedfrom Unexplained-Mysteries, January 4, 2010.
The ants are controlled, said Hughes, a bite right in vascular plants in an effort to find the optimal point for the growth of fungi.
From the study, Hughes found that the bite is exactly the same leaf fossils 48 millionyears old. These findings make sure that the fungus has practiced making ants 'zombie'long before humans appeared on Earth.
"We believe that the fungus that controls the minds of ants while the ants that make bite marks on the leaves," said Hughes. "The reason, is not a normal thing for ants to biteright in the veins of leaves because of the action no nutritional value for them," he said.
In fact, Hughes says, for the ants, biting right in certain species of vascular plants are very dangerous precisely because they are poisonous.