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Danes discover PREDATOR FUNGUS that keeps fly victims alive & active to spread spores to others

Danes discover PREDATOR FUNGUS that keeps fly victims alive & active to spread spores to others
Danish scientists have found that two newly discovered predator fungi species consume their hosts’ bodies while keeping them alive and “energized,” so that the ‘victims’ spread around spores while moving and even mating.

The two ‘zombifying’ fungi are called Strongwellsea tigrinae and Strongwellsea acerosa. They prey exclusively upon two local species of flies, according to the University of Copenhagen.

While ‘eating’ the flies from the inside, the fungi create large holes in their abdomen area, to spray their spores.

Danes discover PREDATOR FUNGUS that keeps fly victims alive & active to spread spores to others

Most curiously, while similar types of fungi often simply kill their hosts, ‘tigrinae’ and ‘acerosa’ have their flies buzzing around for days. The researchers believe that the fungi produce “amphetamine-like substances” which keep their hosts’ energy levels high up until the end.

Thus, in keeping their victims alive, the fungi turn them into moving spore spreaders that could even attract other flies in desire of mating.

“This is an exciting and bizarre aspect of biodiversity that we have discovered in Denmark,” said professor Jorgen Eilenberg, pointing out the mere discovery of such previously unknown biodiversity was valuable in itself.

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“At the same time, this is basic new knowledge that can serve as a basis for experimental studies of infection pathways and the bioactive substances involved,” Eilenberg added, predicting that the new discovery could pave the way for future medical breakthroughs.

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