Loser's Guide to Life
According to National Geographic there are some parasites in South America which cause the ants that eat them to swell up and look like berries, so that birds are attracted to them, eat them, and thus spread the parasites even further, etc.
“The finding is the first known example of fruit mimicry caused by a parasite”, comments an ecologist, a little prematurely I think.
For it must be asked, how often have you felt that there is something like this going on everywhere in the world?
And you may ask yourself, Where do I fit in this scheme? Because you assuredly do. And it is the parasites who are really in control (though they may be unaware of this).
If the birds were to wisen up, and say: No, those are not berries, but ants, then they might be better off and think no small beer of themselves, but the whole ecosystem would break down. Birds probably think about this a lot. “These berries taste like ants. Oh well. Better than nothing, I guess. Best not to complain.” And they're right.
Labels: Instructive Parasites