‘Zombie’ snail taken over by parasitic worm to mimic caterpillar so birds eat it

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The video – uploaded to Twitter by computational biologist Mike Inouye – shows the green and red worm inside the dead snail’s eyestalks and body.

Its red, green and white body runs through the snail and creates a distracting pattern – known as aggressive mimicry – in a bid to attract birds.

The “dance” makes the snail’s motor functions and eyestalks look like a caterpillar – a snack of choice for hungry birds.

Once it has been eaten, the worm will then reproduce in the bird’s stomach and will eventually spread by the bird’s faeces.

Bizarrely, infected snails are up to three times as active as their non-zombified peers.

The snail will not only survive this attack but will regenerate any lost tentacles and eyespots and regain the ability to reproduce.

Within 24 hours of being uploaded to Twitter, a whopping 890,000 people have watched the clip.

Mike labelled the horrifying creature a “zombie snail” before going on to explain the process.

BIZARRE: The snail had been taken over by a parasitic worm

Another said: “It’s a natural parasite just doing its job. Though unappealing to us, they are important to the ecosystem.”

“Possibly the grossest thing I’ve ever seen. Nature can be pretty soulless & wretched,” a fifth viewer added.

It’s not the first time a “zombie” creature has been filmed.

Only weeks ago a raw piece of chicken appeared to come back to life on a diner’s plate.

Days after a fly was filmed holding its decapitated head.



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