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The ants are turning into zombies!

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posted on Mar, 5 2011 @ 03:02 AM
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Scientists from the US and UK have discovered four new species of parasitic fungi in the Brazilian rainforests. The fungi attack four distinct species of ants and release mind-altering chemicals that gradually turn the ants into zombies and then kills them.





David Hughes, Assistant Professor of entomology and biology at the Pennsylvania State University, and colleagues found the new fungi, all in the Ophiocordyceps unilateralis species complex, in the Zona da Mata area in south-eastern Brazil. Each fungus species was a different shape and size and was found to be parasitic on a different species of carpenter ant (Camponotus sp).
Ants that come into contact with the fungus spores become infected, and within a week they begin behaving like zombies and leave the nest. They then find a shrub leaf in an exposed position a short distance above the forest floor and lock their mandibles onto the central vein or the leaf edge and die in that position. The fungus sprouts spore-bearing stalks out of the back of the neck of the dead ant and releases its spores at night, which float down to the forest floor ready to infect more ants.
Two of the species bore short spores that changed to a boomerang shape in mid-air. If the spores did not land on an ant they sprouted secondary spore stalks that could infect ants walking on them. The other two species bore longer spores that were shot like arrows from the stalks, but which did not grow secondary stalks.
The researchers are not certain how the fungus controls an ant’s behavior but said it consumes the ant from the inside, releasing alkaloid chemicals as it does so. The chemicals released by the Cordyceps group of fungi have been known to traditional medicine for millennia, and are used in Western medicine in some antibiotics, anti-cancer, anti-malarial, and anti-organ rejection drugs.
A similar parasitic fungus was found in Indonesia in 2009 by researchers led by Dr Hughes. That fungus also turned ants into zombies, and they attached themselves to leaves a consistent 25 cm above the ground where the humidity was 95 percent, which provided perfect conditions for the growth of the fungus.

www.physorg.com...



mature O. unilateralis growing from an ant it has killed a few weeks before. The "P" points out the perithecial plates where spores are released.



Fascinating!
If this is possible...maybe a zombie apocalypse isn't so far fetched after all!




posted on Mar, 5 2011 @ 03:06 AM
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That is an incredibly interesting phenomenon, thank you for posting the story. Kindy creepy though!



posted on Mar, 5 2011 @ 03:10 AM
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reply to post by Garfee
 


Agreed! Grossly fascinating! lol!
What a wonderfully weird world we live in!
edit on 5-3-2011 by Wildeagle because: Made an oopsie!



posted on Mar, 5 2011 @ 03:14 AM
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Reply to post by Wildeagle
 


I was just thinking that, "if it can happen to ants, why can't it happen to humans?" That would be nuts. I've got swords-a-plenty and a couple shotguns. Bring 'em on! But seriously...this is a great story. Thanks for sharing.


 
Posted Via ATS Mobile: m.abovetopsecret.com
 



posted on Mar, 5 2011 @ 03:23 AM
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reply to post by philosearcher
 


The fungi that does that to ants is a very specific kind, Most insects in the rainforest actually have there own fungi to deal with.



posted on Mar, 5 2011 @ 03:23 AM
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reply to post by Wildeagle
 


this is not a new phenomenon. i recalled seeing a documentary which talked about this fungus as well but refer to this link.

read this



posted on Mar, 5 2011 @ 03:24 AM
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Funny thing happened the other day. My kitchen and around the sink is spick and span except one tiny tiny lil piece of food next to the plug hole; would had been about 3mm in size.....with billions and billions of live ants that somehow dug their way through underneath our kitchen window. Never seen anything like it in my life.

Is the cause of constant weather change?



posted on Mar, 5 2011 @ 03:24 AM
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reply to post by philosearcher
 


I know! Makes you think, eh?!
For future zombie wars..here's your fun survival guide!!

How to kill a zombie.


Glad you like the story!



posted on Mar, 5 2011 @ 04:25 AM
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It is a mental subject, but it's already being covered.

www.abovetopsecret.com...



posted on Mar, 5 2011 @ 12:09 PM
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I dont think that if people were infected with this fungus they would be a threat to other people, the ants who are infected dont attack the other ants in their colony they just wander off alone to die



posted on Mar, 8 2011 @ 03:11 AM
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reply to post by Wildeagle
 


This is freaking awesome!!! S + F for u! I love zombies and can't wait till there is an outbreak... Okay that might seem a little homicidal, but I think it's the best thing that could happen to earth at the moment, not to mention our struggling economies! Plus how much more interesting would life be if you had to chop off a couple zombie heads on the way to grab supplies from the local stores? Lol

Anyway, somewhat kidding but still, awesome thread!!!



posted on Mar, 9 2011 @ 02:04 AM
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reply to post by sparda4355
 


Not to sound too weird, but I think I'm on your page!
I would love the chance to get out there kicking some zombie ass! Fun fun!



posted on Mar, 9 2011 @ 03:16 AM
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reply to post by Wildeagle
 


Two things... I think u r the ka ka ka koooooolest!!!! And I'm like 70% Irish! I'm a little jealous u live in Ireland!
Oh yeah, and happy early st patty's day!!!



posted on Mar, 9 2011 @ 03:35 AM
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reply to post by sparda4355
 


LOL! Aw thanks!! It's not bad over here, relatively peaceful place to live I guess.

I just wish it was a bit warmer! brrr!



posted on Mar, 9 2011 @ 04:41 AM
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reply to post by Wildeagle
 


Lol clearly u don't know much about Chicago if u have the nerve to complain to a chicago-an about cold lol lol!


Trust me if the us keeps in the direction it's going, I'll bs moving there!



posted on Mar, 9 2011 @ 05:42 AM
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reply to post by Wildeagle
 


man they look evil



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