Mangold, in addition to her other scientists discovered that the contaminated muscles revealed proof of hypercontraction as the ants secured their jaws firmly onto a leaf vein or branch.

“Despite the substantial colonization, both motor nerve cells and neuromuscular junctions seem preserved,” the research study’s abstract checks out. “Infection leads to sarcolemmal damage, however this is not particular to the death grip. We discovered proof of exact penetration of muscles by fungal structures and the existence of extracellular vesicle-like particles, both of which might add to mandibular hypercontraction.”

Ultimately, the ant passes away, as it’s taken in from within by the fungi. Making matters worse, spores of the lethal fungi drop listed below from the stalk that outgrows the dead ant in hopes of discovering a brand-new host.

The fungi is mainly discovered in ants that reside in tropical environments such as Brazil, Africa and Thailand.

Mangold’s research study acts on a 2017 research study into the fatal impacts of Ophiocordyceps unilateralis.