Zombie Ants Essay

751 words - 4 pages

The stereotypical ”Zombie Ant” , most typically found in a rain forest and or farm climate, are not the flesh tearing type of zombie you most likely had in mind, instead, fungal-spreading mind controlled ants, taken over by a fungal parasite. And these ants, are far from usual. There is a cycling, almost endless process, repeated in three stages. The process and fungus is called Ophiocordyceps Unilateralis.
During the first faze, the fungal parasite picked up by the target ant, enters the ant’s brain, by latching on to the skin, literally tearing its way through its cuticle, and separating all inside muscle tissue. The fungus is picked up from the forest floor, in particles dropped by ...view middle of the document...

A stock then grows from the brain and out of the ants scull, extending to a rod longer than the ant itself, and then fruiting spore
holding sacks, later used to disburse fungal spores into the air, and down on to the forest floor, to be picked up by another passing carpenter ant, then restarting the whole cycle in a new ant.
There is also a similar zombie ant process occurring in farm surroundings. An ant infected by the fungus, will bite into the tip of a leaf. Later the ant will die in place on that leaf, remaining latched on due to the strong grip farced from the jaw onto it. When another animal comes along and eats it, it will later exert from the body in animal’s fecal matter, where another ant will feed from and become infected, restarting the cycle.
The three stages in the ant cause the ant to have a zombie-like appearance, and experience zombie like features and traits, such as the infection, or zombification of the ant, in which the ant picks up and is infected by a plague in the first stage, or the...

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