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Attack Of The Killer Fungi

Description:  The cordyceps fungi has a fascinating life cycle. Spores from the fungi are ingested by an insect (like an ant). The fungi takes over the insect causing it to climb to a high branch and hold tight with its mandibles. A fruiting body then emerges from the head of the insect and spreads more spores that infect more insects. Different species of cordyceps infect different species of insects. This phenomenon can be used to introduce the diverse and unique life cycles found in organisms.

Web Resource:  Cordyceps Fungi - Wikipedia

 

Megafauna Extinction: Humans or Climate?

Description:  North America (like Africa today) was once covered with large megafauna (animals weighing more than 100 pounds). This included giant mammoths, ground sloths, and beavers the size of a large bear. However most of these animals disappeared by 11,000 years ago. What was the cause of this extinction? Humans, climate, or a combination of the two? Phenomenon like this can be found around the World and can introduce the idea of human impacts on the environment.

Web Resource:  What Killed the Great Beasts of North America?

 
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