An ancient insect trapped in amber has a parasitic mushroom erupting out of it? #shorts

I will pass on the parasitic mind-controlling mushroom, thanks

Produced by Complexly for PBS Digital Studios

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References: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1878614621000799

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  1. you know, if i end up going out in a horrifying and humiliating manner akin to having a zombie fungus erupt from my backside, i think i could take some comfort in the idea that my body could some day be used to better understand the history of life and evolution on this weird and wonderful planet of ours.

  2. Every time I think about prehistoric parasites, I always think about Resident Evil 4 and maybe, just maybe, there were parasites capable of greatly altering the behavior of large vertebrates that just don't exist anymore. I don't mean bladed tentacles exploding out of a Utahraptor's head or something, though that would be terrifying.

  3. Maybe the ant was infected and then traveled into the amber head first, since the ant couldn't control itself and the parasite doesn't have the ability to detect danger and make complex decisions for the host. Then the rear was the only location the fungus could exit from due to the ants head already being closed off.

  4. Super cool! I remember the first time I found out about this fungi. It was when The Last of Us (video game) came out and I got to see all the concept art. They used this fungi as insiration for their take on zombies.

  5. We'll be posting short-form videos like this from time to time but if you are looking for longer-form content from the Eons team, don't worry! We're still posting our normal YouTube videos (a new one will be up next week!) and you can also check out "Eons: Mysteries of Deep Time" wherever you get your podcasts!

  6. I was chilling my a lake a few months ago and a mouse crawled up my leg then wouldn't leave me alone until i threw rocks at it. I think it had Toxoplasma gondii. The thing that makes mice attracted to predators

  7. Last of Us, Girl with all the Gifts, Resident Evil…
    Art predicting a grim future where this stuff gets out & takes over, or innocent horror-themed fun?

  8. Yes, cordyceps sinensis. It probably came out that way because that was the only part still getting enough oxygen for fruitbody production when it got stuck in the sap or whatever it is that turns into amber

  9. I'm curious about the implications of this. Perhaps the fungus was originally spread by being consumed by the ant and defecated before becoming parasitic, eventually erupting from the head instead. Or not. But I do find it interesting.

  10. Fungus that somehow controls the exoskeleton and systems of bugs is scarey as F. The worms that do it are scary but a mushroom that can guide a bug up a tree or where its spores need to go is amazing

  11. Did….did anyone else misread "erupting out of it" as "eating it out" and as soon as hearing "ant's butt" felt like PBS is starting to venture into ahem 'darker waters'. No, just me…. yeah I'll see myself out.

  12. Do you want a zombie fungus apocalypse? because cutting that ancient amber is how we get a zombie fungus apocalypse! J/K Cordyceps funghi can't infect humans as far as we know, it only feeds on insects and other arthropods generally. Also supposedly has health benefits when consumed, or at least that's what this supplement I have which contains it claims. Hasn't turned me into a zombie yet though!

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