Cordyceps - insect zombi fungus

Scientists Were All Wrong About That Zombie Ant Fungus on 'Planet Earth'

"This is an unprecedented view of how a manipulator controls its host."

In the case of ants, for instance, Cordyceps seems to cause the poor insects to clamp their jaws onto a branch and wait for death. While scientists have long suspected that, on a mechanistic level, the fungus infects its hosts’ brains to control behavior, new research in the Proceedings of the National Academies of Science suggests they were wrong all along.
In the paper, published Tuesday, a team of researchers at Penn State University and the University of Notre Dame reveal that Ophiocordyceps unilateralis sensu lato, the specific type of Cordyceps fungus that infects carpenter ants (Camponotus castaneus), controls the behavior of its victims by only controlling their muscles. It turns out the “zombie” Cordyceps fungus leaves ant brains intact!


I thought all the nature geeks knew this already?

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