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    Fungus Makes Zombie Ants Do All the Work

    A tropical fungus has adapted to infect ants and force them to chomp, with miraculous specificity, into perfectly located leaves before killing them and taking over their bodies

    By Katherine Harmon

    In other words, the fungus was transported via the zombie ant to its prime location. To see just how important this accuracy is to the fungus, the researchers identified dozens of infected ants in a small area of the forest. Some of the ants were moved to other nearby heights and locations, and others were left to sprout spores just where they had died.

    Those ants that were left where O. unilateralis directed them grew normal, healthy hyphae (fungal threads) within several days, but those that had been moved never did.

    Edward Levri, who has studied behavioral changes in parasite hosts but was not involved in this study, wrote in an e-mail. “The fact that infected individuals all die in a ‘lock-jawed’ position, at 25 centimeters above ground, mostly on the north side of the tree is amazing.

    okay, so what we have here is a PLANT, without even a rudimentary brain, a PLANT!

    who has figured out, through random blind accidents, how to synthesize a chemical, or chemicals, when injected into a certain species of ant (it doesnt work on other ants) causes the ant to completely alter its behavior and do the fungus’s bidding in a fantastically specific manner, to leave its colony (which ants never do) to climb onto a specific leaf-bearing plant, to travel to a position 25 centimeters above the ground (how the fungus measures this distance i cant imagine), on the north side of the plant where the sun is less, to bite down on a leaf, no where else, and not anywhere on the leaf but on a strong vein (to support it), to bite down in a grip and not let go, in a location where the humidity is between 94-95% humidity, and between 20-30 degrees celsius, and then to conveniently die.

    all parameters essential to the fungus’s survival. the fungus is not able to get to this location on its own.

    i guess during the millions of years it took the fungus to create this impossibly advanced chemical brain controlling system, and design the proper factory in its organism to manufacture it, and the equipment to administer it into the ants, it just kept dying off. luckily though “blind random accident” was finally able to get it right.


    your subtitle should be timid not talmud, by any chance do you have the power to change that???lol;)


    Another funny thing is that , I do have a brain (last I checked) and I can’t do that!

    So the fish was being chased and chased until he decided it’s enough, it’s time to go onto land. But for that we need legs. No problem — make them! And man was trying to figure things out for a long time until he figured out that it’s time for a brain update. How did he figure that out?

    Mentch., sure he can change that but it might take a million years, give or take two million.


    That’s pretty awesome.



    thanks, feivel


    Wow! Thanks, Feivel. The nifla’os haborei are mazing.


    Feivel is back! Welcome back, you’ve been missed.


    Hi feivel.

    I have a problem with the wording, right off the bat (although not the actual wording, “Right off the bat.”

    You said, “A tropical fungus has adapted to infect ants and force them to chomp, …..”

    Actually, it is just as valid to say the fungus is infecting ants, and the ants are chomping….”

    The use of the word “adapted” is biased and used to mislead. Additionally, the idea of the plant

    “forcing” anything, whether ants or whatnot, in what is merely a response/reaction/action, also is a bias and misleading.

    Sadly, it is nearly impossible these days to have pure knowledge which is truthful anymore without misdirection or speculation, at best.


    the only words that are mine are in bold

    the article was written by evolutionist Katherine Harmon

    her use of the word adapted is of course biased, she is a faithful (fanatic) adherent to her religion

    i see nothing wrong with “forced”. of course that is more than a mere observation and implies a conclusion based on observation of a phenomenom but a most reasonable one, and based on scientific principles (though not strictly “scientific method”). after all biology is primarily a field science not a lab science and is located somewhere in the middle of the scientific continuum, between technology and deep theory.


    All flowering plants use animal vectors for pollination and/or seeding. Flowers have sweet nectar that attracts insects which, in the course of collecting the nectar, pollinate the flower which grows into a a fruit or seed pod that animals or birds eat. The seeds are distributed by the those creatures as they pass through their gut and are “ejected”.

    The trees did not “decide” to have these features, nor do the insects intend to pollinate the plant or the animals to spread the seeds. Rather, the entire intricate design is that of the Great Engineer of the Universe.


    Btguy, I understand that the idea is that the fungus puts it into the brain of the insect to do these things. That is called forcing. Are you suggesting something else?

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