Happy Halloween

by Kathryn on October 28, 2016

Ever since I first learned that a fungus can turn ants into zombies, I’ve wanted to write about it. I finally got the chance! My editor wanted a piece on “real zombies” in time for Halloween. This was a dream assignment for me. I love bugs, especially spiders. Ants are pretty cool, too.

Here are some creepy facts I learned while working on this article:

  • Toxoplasma gondii┬áis a parasite that makes rats attracted to cat pee. The parasite can live in humans, too… and some scientists think it changes human behavior as well.
  • The ant-fungus can make its host climb to a specific height, face a specific direction, and bite down at solar noon.
  • The jewel wasp leads along a zombie cockroach twice its size by holding its antenna – the cockroach follows like a dog on a leash.
  • Some killifish have thousands of worms in their brains. Yet they live, though they do display some wacky behaviors that make them more likely to become bird snacks.

Which real zombie is your favorite?

Zombies

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Larry November 11, 2016 at 4:49 pm

Great article!

Of cause I love the zombie plant as it is a real house plant that closes its leaves when you Touch it. Minutes later it comes back to life.
We market the seeds, kits and even party favors to grow your own zombie plant at home

Larry

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