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Latest Mermithergate Stories

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2008-01-16 20:10:00

Researchers at University of California, Berkeley, have discovered the first example of fruit mimicry caused by a parasitic organism.  The parasite, a type of roundworm called a nematode, causes its host, in this case an ant, to grow a bright red abdomen that resembles the ripe berries found throughout their tropical forest environment. The researchers believe the parasite induces this dramatic effect on its hosts as a way to trick birds into eating the infected ants.  This provides...