Zombie Ants Controlled by Four New Species of Fungi

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A stalk of the newfound fungus species Ophiocordyceps camponoti-balzani, grows out of a “zombie” ant’s head in a Brazilian rain forest.

 Originally thought to be a single species, called Ophiocordyceps unilateralis, the fungus is actually four distinct species—all of which can “mind control” ants—scientists announced last week. (pics)

 

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Adventures on a Canopy Raft

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A new viewpoint for research.

How do researchers study the tops of rain forests? One way is to use a canopy raft, which is flown up and settled on the very tops of trees.

Canopy rafts are extraordinary things. they’re basically enormous nets attached to an inflatable frame and are dropped onto trees from airships, resulting in a viewing platform like no other which can also be used as a base from which to hang using climbing gear. the raft above is the solvin bretzel, a new design by gilles ebersolt which due to its pretzel-inspired shape is both safer to use and more effective than older versions. researchers can spend days at a time on the raft (hence the tent) and due to its extremely light weight the trees are left unharmed…

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