Like mushrooms-parasites turn ants into zombies?

Probably, in the world there is no person who never in my life watched movies about zombies — dead creatures that are completely different reasons, came to life and began to hunt on living creatures. For some people it’s hard to believe that the living dead really do exist, and represent ants infected by a parasitic fungus called Cordyceps. Previously, scientists believed that the dangerous fungus controls the bodies of insects getting into their brain, but it was much easier — he only controls muscles.

American biologists found out about it, studied the behavior of parasitic fungus species Ophiocordyceps. During observations, they found that once in the body of an ant, the fungus spores penetrate his hard shell and penetrate into the insect, full of sticky substance. There are so-called kefalinia tubes which permeate the entire body of an ant and even muscles. Seized control of muscles, the fungus can control the movements of an insect.

Fungus turns insects into zombies

Using a microscope, the researchers noticed that the fungus completely destroys the sarcolemma is the surface of muscle fibers. In this case, the junction of the muscle with the brain remain intact, and this suggests that the parasite somehow still interacts with the brain impulses. As it happens, scientists have not yet clear, but they now know that the conversion of the ant into a zombie occurs without direct penetration of the fungus into the brain.

Ant’s muscles are captured by fungus-parasite

Taking control over the body of an ant, the fungus Cordyceps makes him to climb to the highest branch. After reaching the top, there is something even more amazing — in obedience to the commands of the fungus, the ant is biting the branch with such force that his head is being torn apart. The insect, of course, eventually die, but the spores of parasitic fungus that has accumulated in his head, falling from a high branch down and infect are below ants.

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The fact that the fungus turns insects into zombies not acting directly on the brain, but primarily capturing the muscle — a great scientific discovery. Despite this, parasitic fungi are still very mysterious realm of nature with the characteristics of both plants and animals. For example, scientists are still not clear why inside infected insects formed small bubbles. Some experts believe that these tiny particles produce substances needed to control other people’s bodies. Perhaps it is, but this question is important to study in more detail.

Mushrooms-parasites in Russia

Matter how surprising it may sound, parasitic fungi exist in Russia. Probably seen them each in the forest, on the bark of some trees you notice a rather large growths. They are polypore mushrooms, which, although not infect humans and animals for subsequent control of their bodies, but still are parasites.

Tinder fungus

The spores of this fungus penetrate the wood through the crevices and spread throughout the wood, destroying it. Fungus-infected trees break easily and, accordingly, do not live as long as I could.

How are spiders zombies?

The walking dead can become not only insects, but also arthropods spiders. It is known that they turn into a zombie after the attack of a special kind of OS that lay on their backs eggs. The hatching larvae are injected into the bodies of spiders, the substance that causes them to produce a particularly durable form of web, which is woven a safe cocoon for the developing wasp larvae.

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