Two Fascinating Articles About Insects
I’ve come across two incredibly fascinating articles in the last week, both involving insects. My jaw dropped while reading both, and I can’t recommend them enough.
The first is about how some Brood X cicadas will become infected with a psilocybin-related fungus that makes their butts fall off.
I swear to you: every other paragraph, I was saying “Wait, what?” out loud. Over and over again. The details are fascinating, but the writing is just icing on the cake [via MetaFilter]:
The next article is about ants who (when also infected with a parasite) end up living extraordinarily long lives. Most of the parasite articles I read involve the infected insect suffering some really terrible fate. But in this instance, the infected ants seem to fare better than their non-infect counterparts.
In fact, the infected ants live 3x longer than their counterparts, allowing them to exist in excess of a decade.
The infected ants looked younger, remained younger, and ended up doing less work than everyone else [via Metafilter]:
The interesting premise: the infected ants didn’t suffer any ill effecst; but the colony overall suffered negatively, due to a certain population not doing its share.
In the short span of a week, two fascinating articles to check out. Both are very much worth your time.
[photo via Shannon Potter]