SoT 196: The Creepy, Nasty Animal Show

August 22, 2015

Hosts: Ed Brown, Dr. Shayne Joseph, Lucas Randall.

In 2011 a tornado ripped through Joplin, Missouri, killing 158 people. It also brought with it a rare flesh-eating fungus that killed another five.

The first two species of ‘venomous’ frogs have been discovered – the hard way – in the Caatinga forests of Brazil. And you really don’t want them to headbutt you.

There’s a parasitic wasp that uses mind control on spiders to force them to spin cocoons. Because nature is like that.

We mention this David Attenborough video about the Cordyceps fungi that zombifies ants.

We also mention spider webs produced by spiders on drugs.

Shayne recommends the XKCD webcomic about the bee orchid.

Ed recommends watching Ed Yong’s TED talk about mind controlling parasites.

Simon Chapman is Professor in Public Health at the University of Sydney, and was called upon to give evidence before the Select Committee on Wind Turbines. They asked his opinion, and he well and truly delivered it!