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Flying Saltshakers Of Death | Ed Yong | The Atlantic | 30 July 2018
Annals of parasitism. “Imagine emerging into the sun after 17 long years spent lying underground, only for your butt to fall off. That ignominious fate regularly befalls America’s cicadas”. The predator is a fungus called Massospora, which grows inside the cicada, consumes its organs, and converts the rear third of its body into a mass of spores which go on to infect more cicadas. It also doses the cicada with mind-altering drugs — psilocybin and amphetamine. “Perhaps that’s why “the cicadas walk around as if nothing’s wrong even though a third of their body has fallen off”
from instapaper
august 2018 by petulantskeptic
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