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2008-01-25 06:48:37

Infectious stomach flus may be gut-wrenching for us, but consider the plight of some tropical black ants: When infected by tiny nematode worms, the ants' rumps resemble a bright-red, bird-attracting berry. The parasites' strange transformative ability might help it spread to other ant colonies, scientists report in two new studies. Birds normally avoid eating the foul-tasting ants, but the berry-like temptation may be too much, said researcher Steve Yanoviak, an insect...


Word of the Day
maffling
  • To stammer.
  • Present participle of maffle, to stammer.
  • A simpleton.
The word 'maffle' may come from a Dutch word meaning 'to move the jaws' or a French word meaning 'having large cheeks'.