Simbiology: necrophilia, mushrooms and how to survive among zombies
Technology zombies in nature.
Life, death and necrophilia “under mushrooms”
To dominate multicellular host, don’t have to be even animals. All human Affairs and ultimatums, NLP and hypnosis seem ridiculous childish in comparison with the ability of the professionals in this case is the mushrooms. And the question here is not about drug exposure as you might think because of the impressive names overview on this subject — “the Evolution of behavioral manipulations in fungi”.
Some mushrooms just gradually kill their masters and grow through their bodies, scattering the spores. But many mushrooms went further: Massospora Russia, for example, affects the intestines of cicadas some time leaving them alive. A Cicada falls off the abdomen to disputes crumbled better, but the insect continues to fly, try to eat and even mate, infecting more and more relatives.
Other fungi control the behavior of animals, and not only affect their body. If the fungus Purpureocillium cf. lilacinum infects bugs-defenders Edessa rufomarginata from Costa Rica, the latter, apparently, imbued with the love of Solanaceae, which is usually live, start to hug their stems, without moving his legs, even after death. So spores can fall off into the far distance.
Golden beetle-Chauliognathus pensylvanicus macotela turns into a “zombie” due to another fungus, Eryniopsis lampyridarum. Shortly before his death, the beetle climbs on top of the flower (often some astrocitoma) and hangs, holding his jaw. But the effect of the parasite does not end: 15-22 hours after death, in the early morning, the beetle abdomen swells from sprouted mushroom. Dead bug raises the elytra and reveals thin as mica, wings, inviting other beetles to mate. But the necrophilia doesn’t lead to anything good, and all seduced by the beetles also become infected with the deadly conidiospore.
If the fungus will overwinter, it does not surround the abdomen of the victim fluffy “furs” their dispute and not forcing her to hang on a flower with wings spread, like a Christmas toy. Resting spores by the thousands fill the body of the beetle and overwinter inside. The mechanism of action of this fungus parasite is still not known in detail.
Mushroom Cordyceps is one-sided (who also lives in Costa Rica) also makes local ants camponotus to climb the tall leaves and die there, gripping jaws in the Central vein. Cemetery these ants occupy an area of 20-30 square meters. Inside the ant Cordyceps increases the synthesis of the enzyme TRAINFORTRADE in 110 times. It is known that this enzyme makes the virus-infected caterpillars move more, so scientists have suggested that Cordyceps manages camponotus using the same mechanism.
Cordyceps is a very ancient parasite: the oldest marks that look like the trail of a dead ant infected with this fungus, found in the fossils the age of 48 million years. Why is he still not destroyed camponotus? It turned out, he got a mushroom-superparent, who leads a “double game” by attacking his zombie ant relative. However, the ants, this fungus is a double agent does not save, but does not give Cordyceps to reproduce, making the infected a sort of quarantine.
The lady with the stash
But the insects were not born yesterday: it is not necessary to think that they are always helpless victims. Emerald cockroach wasp — the manipulator with the experience. It is like gameinsky pied Piper, makes a half-dead cockroaches to follow, holding their antennae. Treacherous seductress in the shimmering suit leads them to the burrow, where they will hatch larvae. So it provides the offspring of the fresh food. The secret to keeping the cockroach was still alive by the time of the launch of the future of the wasp is that it is less than breathing, but remains moist, however, the details of the recipe of this dish is not yet installed.
Graceful lady with a wasp (literally) waist first shot sting (modified ovipositor) disarms the victim. The second shot wasp gets right into the “brain” — podglotočnogo ganglion of the cockroach — with a precision that matched her “jewelry” in the name. Wasp “takes aim” to pierce the sheath of the nerve center (the equivalent of our blood-brain barrier), focusing on the chemical signals of insects.
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Poison slim beauty blocking receptors of the neurotransmitter octopamine, forcing the cockroach to follow her. Scientists have proved it, making his own zombie-cockroach the same way. Introducing cockroaches blocker octopamine, neurobiologists have subjected them to his will, depriving him of the ability to independently control their own movement.