By Harry Baker
June 28, 2021
Scientists have identified a new species of extinct parasitic fungus bursting from the backside of a 50 million-year-old ant, all perfectly preserved in amber.
In addition to the bulbous mushroom protruding from the ant’s rectum, evidence of the freaky fungus can be seen throughout the body of its unlucky host. The ant likely died as a result of its fungal infection and was fortuitously fixed in tree resin (which fossilizes into amber) shortly afterward. It is the oldest example of a fungal parasite ever discovered in ants.