Real zombies

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2010/aug/18/zombie-carpenter-ant-fungus

Strictly speaking, since the whole process seems to be a method of propagation, they are more like the facehuggers thingies from Alien than zombie infections, which tend to be devoid of biological purpose.

Still, freaky.

Great, just what we need, the Zerg fungus…

I’ll go ready my Peashooters, Kernel-pults, and Gloom Shrooms.

The plants vs zombies analogy is particularly appropriate here.

Whoa. Freaky. Yet cool. Our ecosystem is full of more wonders -and terrors- than we imagine.

Most of you are probably aware of how the whole facehugger thing from Aliens was based on wasps that lay their eggs inside live spiders. (at least if it’s true that Aliens ripped off a story from The Voyage Of The Space Beagle.)

But did you know about the parasites that take over rat’s brains… and make them let themselves be eaten by cats? http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Beware+the+body+snatchers%3A+parasites+control+the+brains+of+rats,.…-a0169307977

Like I said: Freeeeaky. O_O

There are lots of parasites that take over the neurological/nervous system of other organisms. I did a sculpture project on one species of tapeworm I believe that manipulated snails to be eaten by birds in order to reach it’s adult life stage.

I thought this thread was going to be about the origin of zombies, originating from black Caribbean culture. Basically witch doctors drugging and sedating people to sell as work slaves, while making their family believe they are dead in order to not search for the missing person.

What’s interesting is this fungus is in the cordyceps fungus family, a fungus that has adapted itself to infect different insects. They’ve all been shown to interfere with brain activity. I wonder if this one is the parent species or if it just evolved differently.

There was a parasiticwasp larva that controlled spiders. The wasp would attack a spider and paralyze it before laying an egg on its head. When it hatched it would eat through the carapace and control the spider by releasing chemicals. This caused the spider to weave a sturdy support structure and then die. The larva then enjoyed its meal until it became an adult wasp.

eh, seen it.

Yikes. That photo didn’t help, either. I think there was a memo about this kind of thing in Resident Evil 4.

Does what it says on the tin.

He added: "Of all the parasitic organisms, only a few have evolved this trick of manipulating their host’s behaviour.

Why go to the bother?"
Because they can :mwahaha: