A tough question....

Eric Grunden egrunden at prairienet.org
Thu Feb 15 12:01:08 EST 1996



Several years ago, I was watching a documentary about tropical rainforests.
In this documentary they talked about a fungus that lives (for the most part)
in the canopy. It drops its spores to the floor where they come in contact
with a certain species of ant. They infect the ant and at a certain point in
the ants life it is compelled (by the infection process) to climb a tree, and
at the top it sinks its mandibles into a branch and dies there. The fungus 
then sprouts from the dead body of the ant and the cycle continues.

1) Does anyone know the name of this tropical fungus, or at least have heard
   of it?

2) How can a fungus influence a SPECIFIC behavior pattern to occur? I could
   understand if the ant just went crazy and did random things, but how can
   the exact behavior (climbing, clamping onto a branch,etc) be caused over 
   and over?

I realize this whole thing sounds a little hard to believe (I think so too)
but that is what they said in the documentary. Anyone know of similar
phenomena? 
-- 
			*******************
The Spirit of Nature, a powerful force,
	belongs and returns to its creative source.
- Excerpted from The Collective Works of Johnny Pokerface -



More information about the Mycology mailing list