The tape parasite gives ants eternal youth, but takes a high price for it

(ORDO NEWS) — Researchers from Germany at the Johannes Gutenberg University studied the life of the ants Temnothorax nylanderi for three years. We studied the life cycle of not only simple individuals, but also those infected with tapeworms Anomotanenia brevis. The research results shocked scientists. It is reported by nature.com.

The tape parasite gives ants eternal youth but takes a high price for it 2

The aim of the study was to study the life cycle of insects. It turned out that parasites, when they settle in the body of ants, significantly prolong their life. Healthy individuals died out completely in three years, but 53% of the infected ants survived until the end of the experiment.

It was very easy to observe the ants with parasites. These insects have stopped aging. Their shells remained yellow and soft, they did not take part in the life of the anthill.

Healthy individuals fed them, transferred them, took care of them, while the infected were frankly lounging around. And all because an individual with a parasite inside begins to produce a “hormone of power”, this disguises them as “queens”.

It would seem that such a life can only be dreamed of, but no. It is the infected ants that feed woodpeckers and other birds because of their laziness.

The parasite itself multiplies in the intestines of the woodpecker, together with the droppings it goes outside, where it then settles into the ant’s body. The insect is a simple transmission link in the tapeworm’s life cycle.

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