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Lancet Liver Parasite

A creature which spends its entire adult life inside a cow’s liver. After mating, its eggs are excreted into the cow’s faeces, where snails, who like to snack on cow shit, eat the parasite’s eggs. To rid themselves of these unwelcome intruders, the snails package the eggs up into cysts and secrete them through their slime trails.

Next, ants, who use the snail trails as a source of moisture, ingest the sticky eggs. Once inside the ant’s gut, the parasite heads straight for the nerve cells located beneath the ant’s esophagus and hijacks them, taking control of the ant.

Thus, by day, the infected ant goes about their usual business, but as the sun drops, the parasite takes over, drawing the host away from the safety of its colony and forcing the ant to the top of the nearest blade of grass, where it will stand, transfixed, mesosoma upright, waiting for a grazing cow to come along and eat it; So begins the cycle once more.

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