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This image may look like something dreamed up for a surreal horror movie, but it's a real horror for the tarantula in question. This unfortunate arachnid is infected with Cordyceps, a parasitic fungus that replaces its host's tissue with its own.
Cordyceps fungi invades its hosts (mainly arthropods), and its mycelium eventually replaces the host's tissue. Once the arthropod is dead, cylindrical or branching growths emerge from the creature's dead body. Some species also have mind-control capabilities, convincing the host to travel to a place where the fungus will find optimal growth conditions before the host dies.
Some species also have mind-control capabilities
Originally posted by miniatus
Antler like growth s is more like it .. there's similar things in humans ..
edit on 3/7/2013 by miniatus because: (no reason given)edit on 3/7/2013 by miniatus because: (no reason given)
Originally posted by Trueman
It sounds so "scifi", cool an scary at the same time.
The victim for Cordyceps militaris is a pupa or larva (usually of a butterfly or moth). Its mycelium colonizes the living insect and mummifies it, keeping it alive just long enough to generate the biomass it needs to produce the mushroom--a "spore factory" that allows the Cordyceps to reproduce.