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  • Fungi and slime molds race to decompose dead matter on the forest floor.

  • Many spread by releasing spores up to thirty thousand a second.

  • If just one of these spores lands in the right place, and takes root, it can colonize a whole new area.

  • But not all fungi feed on the dead.

  • Days ago, a spore landed on this ant. Now she's acting strange.

  • A network of roots has infiltrated her muscles.

  • Her body has been taken over by cordyceps, a parasitic fungus.

  • It floods her brain with chemicals, drugging her, compelling her to head where conditions are perfect.

  • Just the right amount of light.

  • Just the right amount of humidity for the parasite growing inside.

  • It forces her to clamp down in a death bite.

  • And cordyceps reveals its gruesome nature.

  • After three weeks of growth, cordyceps can release its own spores.

  • Infecting more ants.

  • Releasing more spores.

  • Infecting more ants.

  • Releasing more spores.

  • Infecting more ants.

  • Infecting more ants.

  • More ants.

  • More ants.

  • Cordyceps can wipe out entire ant colonies.

  • But more than just ants are at risk.

  • There are over six hundred species of cordyceps spread across the world.

  • Most are found in jungles where they prey on a whole host of victims.

Fungi and slime molds race to decompose dead matter on the forest floor.

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B2 US infecting releasing parasite fungi ant spread

'Zombie' Parasite Takes Over Insects Through Mind Control | National Geographic

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    minami.kuo posted on 2019/11/04
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