Weird and Wonderful Nature by Ben Hoare EPUB & PDF – eBook Details Online
- Status: Available for Free Download
- Author: Ben Hoare
- Language: English
- Genre: Science Fiction
- Format: PDF / EPUB
- Size: 89.2 MB
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ZOMBIE ANT FUNGUS
This freaky fungus invades the bodies
of ants and controls their movements.
Our planet is home to a mindblowing variety of fungi. These
mysterious living things are found almost everywhere.
Most feed on the
rotting remains of other lifeforms, such as dead plants and animals, but
the zombie ant fungus is a killer. When one of its spo
res— dustlike grains
similar to seeds—
sticks to an ant, chemicals in it dissolve through the ant’s
tough external skeleton. This allows the fungus to wor
k its way inside,
where it spreads and begins to eat the ant alive. Soon,
the fungus has
consumed so much that it makes up half of the ant’s b
Surprisingly, the fungus doesn’t infect the ant’s brain
, but takes
control of it by releasing chemicals. The ant soon bec
omes a zombie,
and stumbles around. Then it is made to climb a plant,
where it dies, with
its jaws locked on a leaf. A few weeks later, the fung
us explodes from the
lifeless ant to scatter its spores over the ground—
and other unsuspecting
ants. It’s amazing how a fungus, which doesn’t have a
brain, can take over
an animal that does. It’s a sneaky, and very clever, w
ay to reproduce.
Zombie ant fungus
There are many types of zombie fungus.
Most target ants, but others attack
caterpillars, wasps, flies, grasshoppers, and
spiders. Some even infect other fungi.
Stalks of the fungus
erupt from the dead
ant’s head and body .
ZOMBIE ANT FUNGUS
Fungus life cycle
First, spores from the fungus land
on a passing ant. They burrow inside
and feed on the ant’s body. Next,
they make it crawl up a plant. By
making the ant climb high, it means
the fungi’s spores will spread farther
when they are released, starting
the process again.
The fruiting cap of the
fungus is loaded with
spores, ready to fire.
In the end, all that’s left
of the ant is a dry husk.
When a certain type of fungus
infects a cicada, the insect’s
rear end falls off! A w hite stump
grows in its place, which is filled
with fungal spores that spread
to other cicadas.
Zombie ants are controlled by thef ungusinsidethem.
When devil’s fingers is ready to reproduce, a
slimy white “egg” appears. It swells to the size
of a golf ball and then uncurls several tentacles.
These are smeared with a smelly goo that
contains spores. The goo attracts flies, which
soon have it all over their legs and carry it away.
Devil’s fingers is originally from
Australia and New Zealand, but
has spread to many other
countries, as its spores traveled
in shipments of plants, wood,
When its tentacles open, this
stinky fungus resembles a weird
kind of starfish.
Fungi have been on Earth for over a billion years. The
in size from microscopic yeasts that are too small to s
ee to giant
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