- News Home
17 April 2014 12:48 pm ,
Vol. 344 ,
Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
- 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.