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Cordyceps: attack of the killer fungi

The video shows an ant that is infected with a fungus called Ophiocordyceps unilateralis, which has both infiltrated and commandeered its body. While it devours the ant alive, it also sends its zombified host scurrying up a plant stem. The ant walks along the underside of a leaf and vigorously locks its jaws around a vein. This is a death-grip; those jaws will never open again. In a week or so, a long stalk erupts from the ant’s head growing outwards and downwards into a bulbous capsule, which releases a rain of spores. If other ants walk underneath, they become infected.

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