Sci-Tech

Zombie ants, 48 million years ago

By Andy Rice 18 August 2010

A fungus Ophiocordyceps unilateralis, can invade a carpenter ant's body and manipulate it's behaviour, ultimately killing it and using its dead body to hoist up stalk to release spores. Just before the ant dies, it clamps itself onto a leaf. Harvard University scientists have discovered the characteristic "death grip" marks on fossilised leaves that are calculated to be 48 million years old. So it turns out that the zombie apocalypse has been here all along. Read more: New Scientist and the Guardian.

0

Gallery

While we have your attention...

An increasingly rare commodity, quality independent journalism costs money - though not nearly as much as its absence.

Every article, every day, is our contribution to Defending Truth in South Africa. If you would like to join us on this mission, you could do much worse than support Daily Maverick's quest by becoming a Maverick Insider.

Click here to become a Maverick Insider and get a closer look at the Truth.


#GUPTALEAKS

How the Guptas tore through red tape to hire Indian nationals illegally

By Jean le Roux for News24

Towns near Fukushima are now being plagued by hordes of rampaging radioactive wild boars. Where are Asterix and Obelix when you need them?