December 6, 2012
How Parasites Zombify Their Hosts
Carl Zimmer, New York Times
In the rain forests of Costa Rica lives Anelosimus octavius, a species of spider that sometimes displays a strange and ghoulish habit.
From time to time these spiders abandon their own web and build a radically different one, a home not for the spider but for a parasitic wasp that has been living inside it. Then the spider dies — a zombie architect, its brain hijacked by its parasitic invader — and out of its body crawls the wasp’s larva, which has been growing inside it all this time.
TAGGED: parasites, zombies