Parasitic Fungus

Parasitic Fungus

The ophiocordyceps unilateralis is a parasitical fungus that infects and exerts mind-control over certain species of ants. It will hijack an ant’s central nervous system and force the ant to climb a stalk of vegetation and anchor itself. The fungus then sprouts a stalk from the ant’s head, releasing spores that infect ants below. It can destroy entire ant colonies. In response, ants have evolved the ability to sense that a member of the colony is infected. Healthy ants will then carry the dying one far away from the colony in order to avoid the fungal spore exposure.

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Categories: Insects

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