Science Scavenger Hunt

A species of Ophiocordyceps sprouts from Camponotus novogranadensis, an ant species, in Itacolomi State Park in Brazil. Credit João Araújo

Did you know Zombies do exist? A certain fungus is the cause and insects are the victims.

In this recent New York Times article, scientist have studied a fungus that turns ants into zombies. Not like the zombies on The Walking Dead and Zombieland, where they physically attack humans. The fungus called Ophiocordyceps, uses the host to grow more of itself.

When an ant comes into contact with the fungus, fungal cells begin to slip inside the body. The fungal cells will spread and over power the body. Chemical signals are sent to the brain causing the ant to act strange.

The ant leaves its nest. Either kicked out or torn apart by the other ants who noticed the sickness.

The infected ant finds a stationary location close to the nest to infect others. The fungus starts to grow outside of the body. Giant stalks grow through the head. Spores shower over the area.

Thus beginning the process again. Starting with a new ant coming into contact with the fungus.

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For more information on the article; click on the link: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/24/science/ant-zombies-fungus.html

2 thoughts on “Science Scavenger Hunt

  1. I think your reader practiced Ophiocordyceps. This would be a good story to run over a video of the process.

  2. Good lead, Makaelyn. But how do you say Ophiocordyceps? Is it important, or is “fungus” enough?

    The story is nicely focused, but proofread.

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