True, embellished and fictional stories for your amusertainment

Posts tagged ‘Ants’

Tolerance

The world needs more taller ants

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Zombie Ants

You know the saying “life is stranger than fiction”?  Here is a demonstration of the truth in that statement with one small change – “living dead is stranger than fiction”.

In the last About Face, I brought up the connection between salt and zombie-ism … in humans. What I didn’t address was the myriad species that are susceptible to the “disease” (for lack of a better term).  Zombie movies typically portray humans as the only species who can be afflicted and I truly thought that was the case until I ran across an article discussing zombie ants (as in the insect versus the woman related to nieces and nephews).

What caught my attention was not only the existence of zombie ants but also the systematic behavior observed from them.  Apparently they always kill themselves at high noon in a rain forest in Thailand.

Here’s what happens.

Carpenter ants become infested with a parasitic fungus that turns them into a zombie ant. Once zombie-fied, the ants travel to a certain place in the jungle and clamp their jaws around the vein of a very specific leaf at noon. (I bet the time change really messes them up.)

If there’s more than one zombie ant, their actions are synchronized like Michael Jackson’s Thriller video.

Whereas too much salt results in human zombie-fication, Carpenter ants become zombies from a fungus. The whole clamping down on a leaf thing is so the fungus can thrive and reproduce and of course make more zombie ants. It literally grows out of the zombie ant’s head. You have to admit it’s pretty smart.

Noon Of The Dead

There don’t seem to be any side effects other than zombie-ism for the infected ants (and death, of course), whereas too much salt can cause all kind of non-zombie related medical conditions in humans.

You would think that with zombie humans eating a diet rich in brains they would be smarter than zombie ants.  But if one is to believe this article, you have to wonder.

May the farce be with you!

Your IFF and Psy-ficologist,

Pam

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