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Parasitic Fungus Manipulate Hosts To Die On The 'Doorstep' Of The Colony
2014-08-21 03:58:06

By Chuck Gill, Penn State A parasitic fungus that must kill its ant hosts outside their nest to reproduce and transmit their infection, manipulates its victims to die in the vicinity of the colony, ensuring a constant supply of potential new hosts, according to researchers at Penn State and colleagues at Brazil's Federal University of Vicosa. Previous research shows that Ophiocordyceps camponoti-rufipedis, known as the "zombie ant fungus," controls the behavior of carpenter ant workers...

Tracking Study Discovers Ants Change Careers As They Age
2013-04-22 09:29:39

Lawrence LeBlond for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online A single ant colony can have thousands of ants, all scurrying around performing various tasks, maintaining their territory for the queen. And because they all look alike, studying them individually by eye can prove extremely difficult, if not impossible. To bypass this obstacle, Danielle Mersch and colleagues from the University of Lausanne tagged every single worker in entire ant colonies and tracked them by computer. The...

8508ea26a32bd11ee99b4f58b48710ac1
2008-03-24 16:45:00

It turns out ants, like humans, are true farmers. The difference is that ants are farming fungus. Entomologists Ted Schultz and Seán Brady at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History have published a paper in the March 24 issue of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, providing new insight into the agricultural abilities of ants and how these abilities have evolved throughout time. Using DNA sequencing, the scientists were able to construct an...


Word of the Day
vermicular
  • Like a worm in form or movement; vermiform; tortuous or sinuous; also, writhing or wriggling.
  • Like the track or trace of a worm; appearing as if worm-eaten; vermiculate.
  • Marked with fine, close-set, wavy or tortuous lines of color; vermiculated.
  • A form of rusticated masonry which is so wrought as to appear thickly indented with worm-tracks.
This word ultimately comes from the Latin 'vermis,' worm.
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