"Zombie"-creating fungi in the Amazon

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    Mar 04, 2011 8:33 PM GMT
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/livescience/20110304/sc_livescience/newzombieantfungifound



    yahooOnce it infects an ant, the fungus uses as-yet-unidentified chemicals to control the ant's behavior, Hughes told LiveScience. It directs the ant to leave its colony (a very un-ant-like thing to do) and bite down on the underside of a leaf — the ant's soon-to-be resting place. Once it is killed by the fungus, the ant remains anchored in place, thanks to its death grip on the leaf.

    Ultimately, the fungus produces a long stalk that protrudes from the ant's head, shooting spores out in the hopes of infecting other ants. Two of the four newly discovered species also sprouted smaller stalks elsewhere, including from the victim's feet and lower leg joints – the equivalent of knees.
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    Mar 04, 2011 9:05 PM GMT
    Crazy stuff! icon_eek.gif
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    Mar 04, 2011 9:45 PM GMT
    OK that creeps me out.
    icon_eek.gif
  • commoncoll

    Posts: 1222

    Mar 04, 2011 9:52 PM GMT
    Incredible! However did they find all these little creatures?
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    Mar 05, 2011 4:20 AM GMT
    icon_neutral.gifThat's freaky icon_confused.gif
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    Mar 05, 2011 4:24 AM GMT
    OMG!
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    Mar 05, 2011 4:30 AM GMT
    old news! but thanks for posting icon_smile.gif damn nature you scary!
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    Mar 05, 2011 6:09 AM GMT
    There is something so macabrely beautiful in the sequence of rotating shots showing the blooming fungi from the insect corpses.
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    Mar 05, 2011 6:11 AM GMT
    I knew there was reason to purchase "The Zombie Survival Guide".

    Just didn't think it would come from a fungus...
  • Sparkycat

    Posts: 1064

    Mar 05, 2011 6:13 AM GMT
    Mother Nature is one sick bitch.
  • _TheOne_

    Posts: 85

    Mar 05, 2011 6:14 AM GMT
    I remember hearing about this awhile back on discovery or nat geo or something. It was even featured one of this 10 reasons a zombie apocalypse could really happens list.
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    Mar 05, 2011 7:11 AM GMT
    thats pretty neat...
  • TheAlchemixt

    Posts: 2294

    Mar 05, 2011 7:16 AM GMT
    When are we going to start the testing for this plant on humans???
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    Mar 05, 2011 7:22 AM GMT
    that is really disturbing
  • d_1M

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    Mar 05, 2011 7:32 AM GMT
    here mix it would look like this.


    http://health.discovery.com/tv/tree-man/slideshow.html
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    Mar 05, 2011 7:34 AM GMT
    I was griping my head in agony.... scary
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    Mar 05, 2011 7:55 AM GMT
    Has anybody ever seen anything that says whether or not the fungus actually kills the ant (or other insect) before it controls their body? As far as I've read, this doesn't seem to be known.

    I mean, it's scary and creepy either way, but I was just wondering which happens first since the word "zombie" keeps being used to describe it icon_razz.gif.
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    Mar 05, 2011 7:56 AM GMT
    i cant even believe they got those shots. i wanna know how long they spent in the jungle just to get those. thats fucking unreal. they make it seem like they were like 'ok today we are gonna find zombie fungus and film it'.
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    Mar 05, 2011 8:03 AM GMT
    ucimae saidHas anybody ever seen anything that says whether or not the fungus actually kills the ant (or other insect) before it controls their body? As far as I've read, this doesn't seem to be known.

    I mean, it's scary and creepy either way, but I was just wondering which happens first since the word "zombie" keeps being used to describe it icon_razz.gif.


    I guess it depends on your definition of zombie. The classical concept I guess entailed a period of death and then reanimation. The advent of the T-virus zombie concept seemed to give us a much smoother transition from living to zombie state. The ant's behavior is manipulated while still living so I guess we can conclude that this thing I'm writing makes no fucking sense really I'm sleepy icon_biggrin.gif
  • Beeftastic

    Posts: 1747

    Mar 05, 2011 8:05 AM GMT
    There are a number of fungi that do strange things to insects. I saw some on TV once that did similar things to catepillars, making them eat certain foods, spin a web around themselves to protect their body for when the fungus killed them. All very creepy!

    Still it's not as strange as the way that plants control humans icon_smile.gif. Been craving carbs and sugar lately? icon_smile.gif
  • OJ89

    Posts: 106

    Mar 05, 2011 8:09 AM GMT
    That was really fascinating! icon_biggrin.gif
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    Mar 05, 2011 8:36 AM GMT
    Apparently it's also very healthy.
    http://healthfood-guide.com/HealthBenefitsOfCordycepsmushrooms.aspx
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    Mar 05, 2011 8:41 AM GMT
    heres a better article darlings.complete with pics and how the fungus transforms its victims..i actually heard about this from last year. Im a big reader of National Geographic...Im wondering what this fungus would do to a Human Being....id pay to see this experiment. Also this discovery highlights the fact that ..there is new lifeforms on earth that we humans have failed to identify and discover.
    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2011/03/pictures/110303-zombie-ants-fungus-new-species-fungi-bugs-science-brazil/
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    Mar 05, 2011 8:46 AM GMT
    tereseus1 said...Im wondering what this fungus would do to a Human Being....id pay to see this experiment.
    No need to pay...check out my post above. icon_wink.gif
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    Mar 05, 2011 9:12 AM GMT
    [quote][cite]Mixleanmachine said[/cite]When are we going to start the testing for this plant on humans???[/quote

    That's what I thought when I first heard about this....Kinda scary, reminds me of that M.Night's movie, The Happenings