One of the most macabre examples of a natural parasite infestation is the zombie ant phenomenon. A fungus takes control of an ant’s brain, in order to reproduce. It forces the ant to attach itself to a leaf or twig, then kills it. In the ant’s corpse, the fungus continues to grow, eventually sprouting a stem containing spores that will be released to infect other ants. It’s a pretty vicious life cycle for a fungus. Scientists wanting to learn more have launched a crowdfunding website, and are directly appealing to the public for contributions. If you contribute, you’ll be having a direct impact on basic scientific research. More details and links inside.
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