Death-grip fungus made me do it

Ants attacked by specialist spores bite low-hanging leaves before dying

By Susan Milius, 17:41 PM August 5, 2009

The line between fungus biology and late-night television just got blurrier.

A fungus that attacks living ants apparently manipulates their behavior for its own benefit, an international research team reports in the September American Naturalist.

When the Ophiocordyceps unilateralis fungus strikes, an infected ant climbs to a leaf not far off the ground (often on the north-northwest side of a tree), bites in and dies with jaws locked in place. Experiments now show that these low-hanging...

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