- News Home
5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
An animal rights group known as the Nonhuman Rights Project filed lawsuits in three New York courts this week in an...
Researchers have been hot on the trail of the elusive Denisovans, a type of ancient human known only by their DNA and...
Thousands of scientists in the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) are about to lose their jobs as a result of the...
Dyslexia, a learning disability that hinders reading, hasn't been associated with deficits in vision, hearing, or...
Exotic, elusive, and dangerous, snakes have fascinated humankind for millennia. They can be hard to find, yet their...
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the first two snake genomes, which represent two evolutionary extremes. The...
Snake venoms are remarkably complex mixtures that can stun or kill prey within minutes. But more and more researchers...
At age 30, Dutch biologist Freek Vonk has built up a respectable career as a snake scientist. But in his home country,...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
- About Us
ScienceShot: Zombies Thrived on Ancient Earth
17 August 2010 7:01 pm
Zombies have roamed the Earth for at least 48 million years. Zombie ants, that is. Today, Ophiocordyceps fungi are well known for taking over the minds of ants such as the Camponotus leonardi worker pictured above. Once infected, an ant wanders away from its colony, bites down on a leaf vein near the forest floor, and dies—creating ideal conditions for the fungal fruiting body that sprouts from its corpse. Only parasitized ants perform this routine, and the bite marks they leave are so distinctive that they're recognizable even in fossil foliage, researchers will report online tomorrow in Biology Letters. The ancient leaf pictured bears 29 scars that represent the last acts of up to seven ants, probably close relatives of the modern Camponotus zombies. That makes the leaf the first known fossil evidence of zombie behavior in any animal.
See more ScienceShots.